Protect your Spirit

Happy Monday to you.  Happy I am just making it Monday.  Happy I am alive Monday. Whatever your Monday looks like to you, make it that and rise above it.  Yes the weekend has left some of us dry.  If it wasn’t the news that is constantly being pushed in our faces, to relationships, situationships, kids, jobs, etc you may be at wit’s end.

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So we all know that we need to protect our spirit.  Your spirit is your essence.  It’s your wits.  It’s you in a nut shell. I know there are many times when I have to take a time out. I give my kids one and have no shame in taking one.  You need to protect your essence. All of life’s drama can take the beauty out of you if you let it.  Today I am even more guarded to keep being informed but to filter some of the junk to avoid getting too overly emotional or let things take me out of my element.

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Life is hard but cover yourself today and everyday.  Cover your children who don’t fully understand but are in the presence of the same junk you are touched with.  Never underestimate that they are able to pick up on negative vibes just as much as you do. Protect what they see and hear.  Protect who they are around.  Who you allow your kids to be around speaks volumes as they take on what on who is around them.  Protect what words you say around them as well.  Words have life and death in them and you have to be careful that the tearing down isn’t occurring in-house.  We are worried about the outsiders but truth be told you can cause more damage in house than you will ever know if you aren’t careful.

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Filter what you take on when it comes to social media. I love social media but the down size is that it doesn’t always allow you to be social.  It can become battle grounds.  It can become warfare. It can zap your energy.  It can take up so much of your time.  It can allow you to not be able to disengage with those around you.  It is a choice and you must make good choices on what you entertain on social media.  Everything isn’t worth a response. Everything doesn’t need a clap back.  You have to clean your social media act up. Delete some accounts you don’t need.  Take a few folks off that you allow to get you all up in arms.  Learn to take a step back with who you call friends on your social media accounts.  Never post anything you don’t stand by 100% and be prepared to live with any backlash.  Learn that some things that inspire you may just be for you.  Learn that you can choose to spread hate or love.  Love on yourself.  Practice self-love everyday.  Mental illness is real and it can be elevated by social media because when the mind is weak it allows the defenses of everything to be low.  Be careful.  Speak life today.  Speak life into your situations and find ways to make your bottom line better.  Reach out to help others when your able.  It’s no different from when you’re on a plane, they tell you to put the oxygen mask on you first.  Same rule applies in life, stop handing out all of your resources to others and leave yourself depleted.  Help you than you can help someone else.  Have a great Monday and practice self love and love on others around you.

Yay for Spring!

It’s finally here in all of its cold and still snow on the ground love.  Spring has arrived. Who wouldn’t be happy?  What I love about Spring is that it brings me that much closer to my favorite season and that is Summer.  Spring allows us all one last season to get Summer time fine.  For all of the people who use Winter as an excuse not to work out because of the cold will have nothing to hide under.  Yes Spring brings showers, but if you really were about that work out life you will work around it.  So as we celebrate Spring’s arrival here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. It’s time to change out hygiene products.  I don’t know if this post is inspired by the Strawberry Letter I heard on the Steve Harvey show about the woman who didn’t wash, but we ALL need to make some changes.  Our bodies change over when warmer weather comes in.  Change your makeup, deodorant, hair products, etc to what YOU need to be at your freshest.
  2. For the Spring and Summer over shavers, please get to it.  I can’t say what someone should do as far as shaving or waxing but I will say that the benefits of either one is cleanliness.  Some people do it for appearance reason but always know less hair means less trapped in smells.  I will tell you what my own momma taught me, you can smell you.  No one should have to tell you to that you stink.  So let’s all tighten up.
  3. Color.  Enjoy some color.  I know black and gray is the go to but…Spring is here add a few shades of color.  It doesn’t have to be super bright color just yet but a pop of color definitely helps in aiding in happier modes.  So don’t be shy.  Scarfs are great ways to add color if you aren’t confident enough to go all the way in with a color top or bottom.  So get your color on!
  4. Change-please note this is the time where salons are their super busiest.  Everyone wants cuts and colors so if this is you, book early.  Also be sure that you go for a consult.  Do not just go and plop in a chair unless it’s a stylist you are super comfortable with.
  5. Pedicures and manicures-start getting them if you haven’t all winter.  If you can’t afford them there are way too many at home gel or regular nail polish systems that cost less than a salon stop. Visit your local beauty supply and get creative.  There is no real reason to walk around raggedy.  In the words of my best friend, you can grab an at home foot scrubber.  So scrub off the winter blues and look to be more polished literally.
  6. Keep up your gym or outside work out commitments.  The warm weather can have you all in your feelings but the feeling of not being able to wear shorts or a cute skirt is even worst.  Do not slack up instead be creative.  Don’t have gym money there are YouTube videos with free work out routines.  Don’t want to do that, get you an old-fashioned jump rope or hula hoop.  Trust me a few times of this a week can take off inches off of your waist.  Get active.
  7. Reconnect .  Start planning that Summer trip.  I advise all to find a trip in your budget for yourself, your family, and friends too.  Nothing says relaxed you like a trip.  Make yourself a priority.  There are no excuses.  There is apps like Groupon that can get you where you want to go.  Last Summer I did a beach day solo and I WILL be doing it again.  It feels good to let your hair down and you don’t need to break the bank to do it.  However whatever you do make the sacrifice and enjoy life more.  Your family, friends, job, etc will thank you.  The more relaxed you are, the better you are to those around you.  Plus you have a few neglected friends who miss you so meet ups are important.
  8. Love you.  Yes as it gets warmer you will find that some people get more irritated. It should be the opposite since the Winter may have had you in cabin fever, but for some its the polar opposite.  Love on yourself.  If YOU need something to make your life better, get it.  Meaning for example, you need more time outside because being inside is wearing on you, than do that.  Sit outside on your front porch, take a walk, have an outside picnic do what works for you.

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Enjoy the Spring. I know at least in my area it’s still cold and the snow hasn’t even melted all the way, but trust me warmer weather is on its way.  As it gets here, people will be out more.  For some who deal with anxiety as socialization increases, be aware and do what you need to do to be prepared.  Don’t let it stop you.  Get out, and do what you need for you but enjoy it!!

Natural is not a Phase

If you look around in the African-American community you see so many embracing themselves for the first time.  It’s a beautiful thing.  It’s not a phase for most.  This is the time to really embrace yourself in all of your flaws and especially when you’re Black or minority and there are limited amounts of things you can see in print, film, etc.  The time for making moves for you is now.

One of the things that I have always hated which is sad in itself to write is that I never wanted to find out my natural state of my hair.  Let me break it down because I am not alone in this at all.  On Saturday I did the most bravest thing ever and that was to cut the relaxer out of my hair and see what the natural state of my hair was.  To some, this is no big deal but I have had a relaxer in my hair since I was about 4 or 5 years old.  I was always told that my hair was “nappy.”  Now phrases like kinky and thick is being celebrated.  The conversation of what is good and bad hair is always going on in the Black community.  I know that since having my first daughter I have always told her that healthy hair is the best hair. I didn’t want to get caught up in her “kinky” hair being less than others because I knew that was what I was being taught from a little girl.  My twin when we were younger had that “grease and water hair.”  Her hair type was always the type that my mom could easily mange and mine wasn’t do to it being coarse, nappy or untamable without the aid of a relaxer.  With a relaxer my tresses became like my sister in the sense I could do more styles with it.

As I became an adult before kids I was in a salon every 2 weeks  getting it done and every 4 weeks I was getting my regiment of “creamy crack.”  By the way creamy crack is relaxer so it became normal.  I learned how to take care of my hair with a relaxer. I knew what I could and what I couldn’t do.  So fast forward to Saturday, my decision to cut the relaxer out has been months in the making.  This wasn’t just a new me thing.  It had to do with the fact that until I made my decision I put a weave in my hair in December.  I wanted to do the “big chop” in January but I got cold feet.  So back to Saturday I was thinking of all of the pros and cons. The cons had more to do with the stigma of natural hair.  Since I have been relaxing my hair all my life I knew  I would have to chop most of my hair.  So the stigma came from appearing bald-headed, or looking like a man.  I have had short hair several times including the months before I put the weave in I had cut my hair.  My hair grows back fast so when I took the weave out this time I really under normal circumstances could have just relaxed it and it would have been in a bob style.

I go to the salon of my choice here in Philadelphia and I tell them I am ready for the “big chop.”  My hands are sweating, my heart is beating fast, and I feel like I am going to throw up.  I thought about my daughters.  One has the same kinky hair that I do the other has thick curly hair.  How would I want them to respond about themselves?  My hair is my glory but I can be who I need to be without relaxed tresses.  As I was being washed it felt weird not being based for the relaxer.  I kept looking around.  I finally was washed and the cutting began.  I kept taking deep breaths as the hair was falling on the floor.  My hair dresser is telling me that she has to cut some more and I am thinking here I go, bald is going to be my expected end.  However she tries to show me my hair after just the cut but I refuse.  I just know what I want my hair to be.  Can my hair be healthy with a relaxer yes, it has been at times.  However I just don’t want chemicals in my hair.  I want to embrace this for me and for my daughters.

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So the cut is done she styles me and reveals that I actually have wash and go hair.  I am looking at her like she has 3 eye balls.  Like who has some wash and curl hair?  But she reveals it and I am super happy.  One its super convenient since I do work out at least 3 days a week.  I love it.  I love the look.  It’s what I wanted and for the first time in years I don’t have to wait 24 hours for my hair style to grow on me.   I also am learning that team natural doesn’t mean team don’t comb or do anything to your hair.  Your hair needs to be treated well with regular washes, moisturizer, and love just like relaxed hair.  And no I don’t mean the same methods.  I mean at the end of the day relaxed or natural if you don’t take care of it, it won’t look or be much of anything.  You can’t be lazy in taking care of yourself whether or not you can afford to go to the hair dresser or not.  Taking pride in your hair is the number way to take care of your hair in either phase.

So as I get home I don’t have nerves of what my family or husband will think.  Not one.  I walked in like any other day hungry and ready to eat.  I was at the salon for quite some time. I post the pic on Facebook not looking for validation.  I was happy and I was okay with the world seeing my happiness.  I wasn’t looking for approval from my parents and siblings either.  I like and love it and that is what is important.  I am determined to eat right, look tight, and be happy and that means putting my needs to the top of the list.  I am loving the skin I am in not because I am team natural but because I am embracing and finding ways to create the happiness that isn’t always there.  Life sucks but I refuse to look bad and feel bad in this life.

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I am not a pro in this natural hair thing. I do not pretend to be.  I do know how I felt the moments leading up to my big chop as well as how I felt afterward.  I do know that it’s not easy to transition.  I am well aware as I learn my hair.  I have to dispel the thoughts that have come back to my mind already.

 

I am not advocating team natural over relaxed hair.  I refuse to get into a debate over it. There are pros and cons to both processes.  What I am advocating is being strong and confident like we teach our daughters.  What makes you look and feel the strongest go with that.  This day and age everything is destined to kill our vibe, time for women and men to find ways to be happy and healthy from the inside out.  I choose to be happy, fierce and strong in my own skin…..

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Why I am not being nice to Side Chicks

Today is side chick appreciation day.  This is the day when the memes come out hard.  I heard someone say that we should be nice to a side chick and this is my response to that, hell naw I won’t.  I know that came a bit left but that is my real life rated G version of my response.  Why should anyone feel sorry for a side chick.  Often times side chicks can be side blinded.  The men who side line a side chick really are a piece of work. This means that not only do you not respect your wife or girl but you don’t respect the one you messing with to come correct and at best tell them they are a side chick.

Now the issue with the side chick first let me deal with the man first than I will bring this thing back to full circle.  You have NO game.  Its sad but the reality is that some side chicks will play their “part.”  Yes you can find a raggedy woman who is patiently waiting on the sidelines for any love before she turns up with no love.  This I will address when I swing almost literally to the side chick herself.  If you as a man really had it like that you could tell that side chick that she’s a side chick and she may go for the okie doke.  But often times that side chick is lied to just as much as the lie the man is keeping with his committed girlfriend and wife.  Um let me just say you don’t have enough dick or money to entertain one woman let alone more than one.  Straight like that, no chasers today.  I am not coming from a bitter been burnt by side chick games either but the truth is the truth. So while you may get away with the game of hurting the one you are with you will find out sometimes when it’s too late that it’s not worth it.

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The chances of your woman taking you back is slim or at least it should be.  Ladies I know some men go to counseling and attempt to do better but you better be 1000% sure you can handle that.  The amount of distrust that is done after someone cheats is unimaginable.  If you are the type that brings that back up a million times, you would be better off leaving that cheating man and sending him a clear message that this type of behavior is not acceptable with you than to stay and drag yourself and him through it.  If one of you should go through the ringer shouldn’t it be the one who committed the offense?

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Now to the actual side chick or side dude especially the ones who know.  Why?  Like legitimately why? There isn’t another man who isn’t already connected?  This one that appears like a good catch is the one?  What makes him or her a good catch?  Cheating is a turn on?  He or she won’t do that to you right?  Like for real, what is your motivation.  You are dipping yourself sometimes literally in the same pot.  That doesn’t seem sexy to me. So the nights like Valentine’s Day when a man or woman can’t make a viable excuse for not being home, what do you do?  Hold your pillow tight?  Look at your gifts he had to send to you because he’s not there loving you.  Let me guess, you think he’s not with his wife or her husband?  I know that’s what they told you.  How come he or she hasn’t left their wife or husband?  Your stuff not bomb enough to make him roll?  Oh yeah the kids, yeah that’s called an excuse.  No one should ever stay for the kids.

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Listen if being second to the main is good for you, than you will never have much.  No one cares about your place.  You have none.  Once that wife and husband finds out trust me they are going to make your side boo’s life hell.  Once that happens the spark you once saw won’t be as strong as you think.  They the wife and husband and your boo will blame you. This isn’t anything new that you haven’t heard its just time out for being the sloppy second to another woman or man’s main.  Let people figure their relationships out without being the one sliding in between them.

So not I don’t sorry for a side piece today.  You get what you deserve.

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How to Have the Best New Year’s Eve…

First of all this is one busy night.  There are a lot of preparations to make it perfect, but let’s keep it real there’s no such thing as perfect.  You have to set aside what goals are most important to you.  They say how you bring in the New Year is super important and it is.

Here are some of the ways you can bring in the New Year:

For Couples:

It’s important to attempt to spend it together.  Yes some people have to work and that is totally understandable.  However if you are a couple there are a million ways to spend it. You can go to a hot party and get all dolled up.  This would require that you and your partner book ahead of time.  Going out on New Years means having a party plan.  Will you use a taxi, Uber, Lyft?  What are the prices?  Everything is super expensive on that night. Do you even want to go out and deal with other party goers?  Decide early because after Christmas if most clubs and establishments haven’t already posted prices they definitely will.  Remember anything where you can pre-pay ahead of time is better.  At the door the price will usually go up from $20 to 100 per person.  Ouch.  So plan ahead.

If you and your boo do NOT want to go out, opt hosting a party get together.  You can do this by having other couples come and share in the purchase of food and drinks.  This will cut cost down dramatically.  You can have a great night in.  You can do things like play games, watch movies, whatever you want to do.  It’s all your choice.  This is a great option for a laid back night with others.

If you say Toi, I really just want a quiet evening, than do that.  I know couples who dress up and cook a meal together.  This can turn into something if you want it to trust me. Nothing is sexier than your partner in the kitchen.  Make a meal that you both can try that you wouldn’t have normally tried before.  This way its something out of the ordinary than your normal pasta dish at home watching tv.  You can do a vision board together as a couple as well as an individual.  You can play games and make it fun.  Spice it up.  You can just spend some quality time with the one you love as you bring in another year.

For Singles:

You can do the same thing as above as far as going out but make it a great group effort. You aren’t the only single one in the whole world no matter how much your mind tells you. Get together and reconnect with friends that you may not have been able to catch up with during Christmas.  This is a great time to travel.  Some of my friends are out of the state so if I was single you could travel to their state or pick a new destination altogether. The same rules apply, have fun and be safe.  If you want you can have the ultimate girls night.  There are a million and one ways to have a group of women come together and have a great time. You can pick a theme.  It doesn’t have to be just the New Year.  You can have a makeover night.  Everyone brings make up, wear cute pajamas, etc. The sky is the limit. Be open-minded.

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Travel

Like I said I remember hitting Miami up one year.  I had the BEST time with my girlfriends. We went to a great club that had open bar for a price and food.  We danced so much I can’t tell you how bad my feet hurt.  However when I look back at the pictures I smile.  We really had a great time and even walked a little on the beach.   You’re single not dead.  Enjoy life. There is so much to experience that is beyond your backyard.  Now that I am married a few of my single friends have even gone out of the country.  Imagine that.  If you have a passport, isn’t it time for some new stamps?

For Parents:

My husband and I have been parents for 7 years and the ONLY time we have had a night out for New Years has been this past year.  We ended up going to Chickie and Pete’s.  We had no immediate plans.  We made none.  We decided to just get dressed up and head out. As we went to a few places, we noticed how super crowded and how limited space was open to be out.  So I did what any woman would do, I goggled.  I found that Chickie and Pete’s had a special for a flat rate you could eat and drink top shelf liquor all night. I said let’s give it a try.  Let me tell you, it was worth every penny.  Not only was the crowd hype, there was dancing, our own table, and did I mention all you can eat and drink on food we knew would be good?  Yes we had hit the jackpot.  It’s hard to get a sitter and last year we lucked up.  So what do you do when you have no sitter and you have little people?  You make your own party. I have always done a party at home.  I had adult drinks and kiddie mock drinks, New Year’s gear, and we had a full party.  Dancing, music, the countdown all of that. Guess what it was low-key, loads of fun, and I didn’t stress bed time either.  I let them stay up until they fell out.  It was a great time.  Oh and my kids can hang.  They loved every bit of it.

Another option for parents is to invite other parents that are in the same boat.  You can have a kid and parent party.  This is a good idea for parents who want to interact with others but can’t find a sitter.  Everyone can come together and split food and drinks. Everyone can have a great time in a safe location.  Parents can interact with other adults and the kids can get some time out as well.  Trust me the ride home will be quiet, your little ones will be knocked out no matter how late or early you go out.  Also during the day on New Years places like aquariums etc will have specials for the little people and a special count down too. This way if you are venturing out you can tire them out before you go and have some fun too.  Check prices and get tickets early as well.

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New Year’s night can be as much fun as you want it to be.  You have to be willing to step it up no matter what your status in life is.  Yes I didn’t mention church, but you didn’t think this fellow PK (preacher’s kid) would forget.  Yes watch tower or midnight services are fun too.  It does depend on where you go.  I am sorry church folks but you can make New Years fun.  Yes have a good message, preach, have choirs but have some fun too.  Nothing is worst is dragging your family out in the cold to church and having them wanting to gnaw their arms off because the service is no different from any other day.  It’s a fun night of celebration.  Just because you in the church you don’t have to cut the fun out. Incorporate something into the service. Have food.  Do something out of the box and bring folks into the church.

I do not have my plans set yet.  Whatever I do it will be fun.  Whether that’s out and about, a night at home, with friends I will have the same joy of beginning the New Year as I have always have even if I have to create it.  That should be a part of your new goals.  Creating happiness in your circle. Trust me the situations I was in I should have been sad but I turned them around and made the best of it and so can you.  Enjoy the New Year celebration as well as make your own mark going into 2017.

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The World is on the Edge

Well we now know that Donald Trump is our president. I watched ALL the results.  So you can imagine that on my first day back to work today since my MIL past has been extra gloomy. I need to say what I am feeling today.  My heart is heavy.  I don’t feel like we shall overcome right now.  I don’t want to grab my neighbor and pat them down.  I am feeling lousy.  I know this too shall pass but since I am not in the passing mark, I got to vent.

I have a deep pain in my heart.  I mean I get what happened but it doesn’t make it right.  I know there are Trump supporters that are in a state of glee. I am not one who shares in those same sentiments.  To rally behind Trump knowing all the things he did to spew hate, separation, and ignorance doesn’t make sense.  I still don’t get all of his policies and feel like at this point I will just have to watch and see what unfolds.  Like how many times can someone ask you what you stand for and you constantly don’t have a clear plan?

My kids were mad this morning when we told them.  My son asked me if Trump who has been bullying people with his words will make an environment at school where more bullies can pop up. I had no answer for him.  I wanted to say no son it will be just fine but since I parent from a place of honesty I can’t sell him a dream I don’t believe in.  What was I supposed to do lie?  Not happening here.  I told him to let us know like we have always encouraged him to do.  I encouraged him to talk to his teacher.  I encouraged him to keep his hands to himself unless it’s in self-defense.  I made sure he knew that at his school he should be okay but if not I am a call away.  I couldn’t mince my words. I can’t give him rhetoric.  He needs to understand what he is up against.  He is old enough to get it better than some adults.  By all means if you have been following my blog you know I don’t advocate violence but I am not in any means going to tell my kids to get his ass beat and just sit there with no kid.  The police?  That’s a different story and a different conversation.  Kids?  Naw.

I am not asking for others to feel my pain in the same way that I am dealing with it.  I am just expressing where I am so I can move forward and find ways to protect my family.  The idea that sexism is not going anywhere makes me sick.  I said on my Facebook post yesterday:

I had a conversation with a male friend. My problem with the election is that sexism and racism seems to have won. My question is for males especially since women are usually objectified, where do your conversations go now? When you sit up with your male friends making comments that are disheartening, than what? I got some of the most woke males on my page dropping jewels and them same males would drop some of the most misogynistic comments towards women with respectful mothers and beautiful daughters in their home, so what is now your plan going forward? You are just a part of the problem.I’m not biting my tongue about these issues and expected to look at my daughters and tell them it’s gon be aight. We all want to rise up for race but leave women at the bottom of the barrel… Not no more.
Do you understand that statement above?  It’s not just because Clinton didn’t win. She came in to the race with a lot of baggage that the world wasn’t willing to accept.  The bigger picture is if you had to weigh both candidates we choose to make sure that a woman wouldn’t be in power and rolled the dice on a candidate that comes off as misogynist, racist, etc.  That sends chills up my spine just typing it.  I know some won’t agree.  Some had said that the devil you know is better than the one who you don’t.  In some respects that is true but when the devil is selling you a plan that you know isn’t in the best interest of the whole picture that is definitely scary business.
I have no answers.  I know that eventually things will get worst before it gets better.  I saw online where KKK are marching down south declaring Trump’s victory.  One of my co-workers daughter’s school has already had fights this morning because students were debating the election.  Another family member of mine states that her daughter is in class where students are calling brown and black students niggers.  I know it to be true not just because she is family, but because I went to the same district years ago and had the same exact thing happen to me.  So again I am not out evoking fear.  However I can afford to turn a blind eye to the mess either.  I wish everyone safety and that hopefully we can find a place of love.  My reality shows me that some will and some won’t.  I pray that the ones who won’t will be dealt with justly and swiftly.
I read someone say why can’t we love and move on.  I love all.  My intent is to show love. My intent is to treat everyone around me the same that I would want to be treated.  I live in a reality where the same sentiments will not be given to me or my family.  I love wiht a strong dose of reality and preparedness.

T-mobile Tuesdays!!!

Soooooo, I have seen the commercials lately about it but I didn’t fully catch on until….yesterday.  So if you are a T-mobile cell phone customer there are a few things you need to do.  One download the T-mobile Tuesdays app and play the game.  It’s available on goggle and iTunes.

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I did this and yesterday got movie tickets, a small Wendy’s frosty, a subscription to Bon Appetit magazine, and a credit with Vudu.  Now I was a little apprehensive since I’m always on team save money about it but let me tell you it’s legit.  So with the T-mobile Tuesdays you have limited amount of time to use the gifts.  See the app for more questions, video in how to do it, etc. This is how T-mobile is giving back to their customers in their #Getthanked campaign.

Now for a mom of 3 who works full-time and blogs part-time, this was refreshing. I love the movies and I tend to go more in the Summer.  I was able to see the movie Me before You.  It was a refreshing evening to myself to do my thing, eat junk food, and relax.  Yes I’m still working out but balance is key.  I do not do a lot of me time things and this pushed me right into it.  Oh and free, well free is THE best.  It gave me no reason to back out and gave me hours of quiet moments, a beautiful love story, a few good tears, and fun.  I really felt like I was skipping school.  You couldn’t tell me a thang.  Between listening to adult music, shout out to Drake for his, Views from the 6 album that kept me rocking along the way, I felt like an individual instead of my kids mom and my husband’s wife.  We all need a little time to ourselves and I have to thank T-mobile for providing it for me.  If you want to get into the Summer mix and you are a Tmobile customer, I highly suggest you get into T-mobile Tuesdays. Did I mention there was a Wendy’s next to my movie theatre so can you say win?! I sure could.  Something about free that taste so much better.  Also shout out to my fellow Blogger Alanda of @Cocoamommy for the information!!