Summer Be Good to Me!

Welp in a few days Summer will officially make its mark.  There a few things we can do to ensure we have a great one.  So here are some ways to get Summer going:

Make Me Over

Ladies, all of my ladies, do me a favor and check your make up bag.  Have you checked your bag to make sure that you are getting rid of a few things you might need to switch up.  I know there are a few things that we just absolutely love and don’t want to part ways but don’t let your makeup bag be the cause of increased acne breakouts or other facial issues.  Please let it go or replace it.  Trust me your face will thank you.

Wardrobe

It’s the time for sun dresses, shorts, swimsuits! Who isn’t excited?  There are all of these items in every size.  So you can be cool and cute all Summer long no matter what size you are in.  Enjoy it! Trust me once the heat is gone and the snow is back on the ground you are going to be sad.  Let me say especially to my ladies, there are way too many options to be comfortable for whatever you are doing so there is absolutely NO reason to be in these streets in your pajamas.  I do NOT care how they feel, wear some clothes.  Real clothes!  Thanks the world would appreciate it.  Also back in the day I was taught not to come outside in a head scarf, now we can wear them fashionably.  There are a thousand YouTube videos in how to tie one so that you can match it up and wear it flattering.  Do not come outside in the regular you slept in your scarf look.  Thanks again.  We got to care about how we walk out the house not only due to the fact that you may run into someone you know but just because self-love causes us to walk differently.

Know your Arena

If you are going to concert dress for one. This could go under wardrobe but I wanted to make it separate.  You can’t be at Brunch with sports clothes unless you are going to a game. I know we can do what we want, but know your arena.  Would you go to a wedding in jeans?  No! Then be sure that you are in the right arena with the correct clothing.  It makes a difference and not only that we live in a take a picture world and I remember when I was going through depression that I would be out looking a hot mess. I wasn’t dressed for the right arena and that sent me further in a tail spin. It happens trust me.  So research and use Pintrest.  Pintrest will actually align up some suggestions if you do not know.  Have some fun with your looks and be fly all Summer long.

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Summer Parties

This could be in the form of a cookout or a good party, make it your best one.  If you are the one who is throwing one, pick a theme and commit to it.  Nothing is more fun than a good Summer party with all of the frills.  Also realize you can be super creative and stay in budget.  Trust me when I have a theme even for my kids, I find ways to keep my budget on point but nail it every time.  Have some fun and make it a great party.  Also drinks are important non alcoholic and alcoholic. You can really find some new ways to drink a refreshing drink that makes you feel good and wow a crowd.  Do your research.  Also if you choose to consume alcohol do so conservatively and use Uber or Lyft or a trusted friend or family member for a ride.  DUI are super expensive.  Don’t let that Summer turn up cost you or someone else their life. Have fun and be responsible.

Get Out

There are many events in your city or town that is free.  Please explore and get out. Do not sit around salty all Summer long complaining about how there’s nothing for you to do. Get on  Google and find something to do.  There may be events in towns and cities near you to explore as well.  All I am saying is the boredom that kicks in by adults are self inflicting. You have the choice to sit and be miserable or be creative.  If you are single and are saying well I have no one to go with, I understand.  I used to say that too.  One part of doing better socially is sometimes pushing past that and getting out.  It’s scary I won’t lie.  However be open to meeting new people while out.  Even married my husband hates all activities that require you to be outside in the sun or around bugs.  Every festival that I want to attend I used to not go or break him down to go.  Now yes he will go, but the ones that he won’t I have learned to get out and have a great time.  One time I went somewhere and eventually he showed up.  I refuse to not attend these types of events.

Solo Trips

Yes I took a big solo trip in April but I also take solo day trips or beach days.  These are important as getting together with my girls, family time, and baecations.  You got to know you and what you like.  The best way is to push past being uncomfortable and explore.  I love it NOW.  I will not pretend that it’s always been this way because that is a lie.  However EVERY time I have come home I have been better. I do NOT answer any non emergency calls while I am out.  That is my time and my family respects it.  If I am on my phone the whole time, when am I having my time?  Reserve your time and don’t let anyone infringe on it and that’s family and friends.  The only thing that should happen is confirmation that you are safe and if an emergency then yes a call.  Your time is your time.

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My Summer Playlist

So here is my personal Summer Playlist.  I love music and nothing is better than having that AC on or having the windows down and have the base jumping:

Nice; The Carters

Summertime; DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

New Rules; Dua Lipa

Nice for What; Drake

Wait; Maroon 5

Rock with you;  Michael Jackson

I like it; Cardi B

This is America; Childish Gambino

Can’t stop the feeling; Justin Timberlake

Big Poppa; Notarious B.I.G

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My Summer Must Haves

Pool time-tan lines are made at the pool or beach. I love tan lines because they remind me that I have enjoyed a little bit of life.  I look forward to them and allowing all of this melanin to pop!

Ice-cream sundae bar: yes this can be done all year-long but nothing is better than eating it and stepping up my ice-cream sundae bar in the cutest of dishes

Outside Movies: in Philly they do series of movies for all age ranges throughout.  You will find me at one or more of these in the city

Beach day-self explanatory

Summer Fests-another thing that I love about Philly is that all summer long there is a festival for many reasons and many of them come ready to go with alcohol. I love the ones that are kid friendly since I have kids.  We all have fun, it wears them out, mommy and daddy can have our time or have a quiet house afterwards.  It’s a win, win!

Cookouts-who doesn’t like grilled food?  It’s the best and couple that with some awesome Summer salads and you got a good meal.  Nothing like getting together with a few folks and having a great time while the kids play!

So break out the sunscreen and fill up the water jugs it is happening.  Today alone it’s almost 100 degrees and the smile on my face can’t be wiped off.  So bring on the sweat, the fun, the sun, and all of the things to do. I will be hitting the streets and blogging it along the way.  Enjoy this season!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What to do in Your Weekends to Prepare For Your Upcoming Week?

Weekends if you work a Monday-Friday type of job should be used to get your mind right, spend time with family and friends and have a break from the mundane.  If you are an entrepreneur you know there is no such thing as a day off, work is all the time.  If you are in the nursing field or are the type that has to be in public office such police, fire etc then time off is a blessing.  Regardless when its time to break, break! Overworking even if it’s for yourself is crazy.  None of that money you will take with you.  So learn to balance your life so you can make a little living and be here to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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What you should be doing is simple:

  1. Relaxing-yes this is not a curse word.  Relaxing.  I used to try to jam pack so much into the weekend and slowly I am learning that less is best.  I don’t need each second filled with something to do.  I do need to find activities that everyone needs in my house but more specifically I selfishly need to make sure I am good to.
  2. Rest-I have 3 kids  and a pretty busy schedule and used to feel super guilty about taking a nap or going to bed early or resting.  This is human nature and a right. Take it.  Do not feel guilty.  Crawl in that bed, put your feed up, get your rest and get some sleep.  Successful people know how to turn it up and they know when to turn it down.
  3. Renew your mind-you see the pattern. It starts with choices and you must make a choice to renew. Some people go to church or other spiritual filling exercise.  Some do yoga.  Whatever you choose and there are plenty of choices do it and do it regularly.
  4. Plan and work their plan. Sometime I sit and look at the week before and find out how I could have done things differently.  It could be something as simple as making snacks bags the day before whatever it is find it, do it.  Any time saved is enough to shave off stress throughout the week.  This is why my crock pot is sacred.  Shout out to my husband who got me 2.  I ain’t hardly mad. I will turn them both on and that’s at least 2-4 days worth of food per crock pot meal.
  5. Have some fun.  I mean my goodness let your hair down a little. Grab you some adult juice or a mocktail.  Go find a party and dance or create a party right at home.  Do you know how many times a dance party for me and the kids has been a workout and fun?  Plenty.  Lighten up.
  6. Go on an outing. Please do not tell me about how broke you are.  Broke is a mindset.  Yes your account could have cobwebs but be inventive.  Do you know how strong my Google fingers are?  Hella strong.  The amount of free I have found could hurt someone’s feelings. Get out. Go to the park and get some fresh air.  The winter is tricky times but can find something to do.  Even doing some walking around at the malls on a rainy day is fun. FYI, the malls and movie theatres are the most busy during these times.
  7. Create.  I find that I use my Pintrest the most on the weekends or sometimes during the end of the week to find activities that are super fun, cheap, and did I say fun?  Yes there are somethings for everyone.  You could have a movie in night where you invite another family. Make it fun by creating cute little movie themed snacks, and it can be simple and rewarding.

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Whatever you plan to do this weekend-actually do.  I hate going into work and people talk about how boring their weekend was.  I am thinking to myself, they themselves may just be boring people.  Life is about living. Get out and find out what life has to offer. There are a thousand events to go to, things to do, places to be. Whatever it is get out there and find them!

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Ask Toi: If you wanted to throw a party for a friend that is married or in a relationship, do you have to ask their mate first?

I would say out of respect you would.  How do you know that the mate or significant other would want to be the one that plans it?  Or what if they were taking your friend out-of-town? Back in the days when your friend was single, planning surprises was easier but it doesn’t mean the element of surprise still can’t exist.  You just have to be creative.

I know in our house my husband usually is really good at planning great birthdays.  Now I do celebrate from May 1st until the actual day of May 10th.  So that leads plenty of time for friends to do their own thing. He however is always the one on my day with the major of surprises.  He welcomes others to do as they please but if its dinner, etc. he’s the one that makes that day special.  If others contacted him he would be willing to make things happen.

It’s about respecting your friend’s relationship.  You can still be spontaneous towards your friend.  I have had friends who send me things to my house or work place and it catches me totally off guard.  The ideal is to honor your friend and celebrate their Earth day.  You can do that and still give space for the special man or woman in their life to be able to do the same.  Who doesn’t like multiple celebrations?  Dinners, luncheons, happy hours, brunches these are a few ideals that still can be done to honor your friend.  You can do one day or in conjunction with the friend’s boo or separate and have a great time.  Now if you don’t like your friend’s significant other, well there’s not much that can be done with that.  However it cost you nothing to ask questions and clear the schedule.  The significant other can even assist you in getting your friend to the location of your choice for a great guy’s catch up or girl’s night or day out.

Now I have heard some vindictive signficant others who say they have no plans and then when you do, they make them for the same day that you set aside.  Keep in mind that your friend will in time see through this.  Do not sweat the small stuff.  Let your friend know way after their birthday what transpired.

Can I Have A Day?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Summer is slowly winding down.  Don’t get me wrong there is plenty of sunny days and muggy nights left, however if you aren’t careful you will miss out on it all.  What have you done for yourself this Summer?  What trip did you take?  Let me guess, you don’t have someone to go with you, right?  What excursion have you wanted to go on but haven’t?  You haven’t done those either.

It’s time to change those have-nots, to haves.  Do not allow the Summer to go by and you are still sitting and talking about plans but not actually doing them.  For me I want to go to the beach and I am going to go even if I go alone.  My husband isn’t a fan of the beach and to be honest I could use a day in the sun with my feet in the sand and a good book or magazine to entertain.  You have to get out.  So it’s planned on my calendar as a personal beach day.  Listen Summer is my favorite season but even if that’s not your case, you can’t avoid it if you’re alive, so get out and enjoy it.

I am encouraging every last reader of this blog to get out and do something fun.  No more I have no plans.  Make some plans.  Go with girlfriends.  Go with a new boo.  Single, go to one outing that you wouldn’t normally go.  While there don’t worry about if you’re not fitting in. Dress well, eat well, and smile.  You never know where you will meet your new partner. The one place you won’t meet him or her is in your pjs in the house.  I know don’t hit me with the well there’s online dating.  Online can only take you but so far if you aren’t willing to meet others and see if the chemistry is still there beyond the computer screen or phone.

So what are you prepared to do?  It’s crazy to me to see people on social media talking about how bored they are.  I know I live in a big city but I have even looked up events in other people’s cities many of them are free and people still bored, how?  You know there’s one word to sum this up, lazy.  I hate to call people names but if we sit on social media day in and day out then surely you and Goggle can at least go together.  Goggle and then after you do that, go.  I know you need a squad but truth be told not everyone in your squad likes the same thing and there’s no need to let that hold you back.

There are so many activities that you can do in Summer that you simply can’t do in the other seasons, so get out and enjoy it.  I know plenty who at the first sight of snow will complain that they can’t wait for it to be warm, waste Summer’s time, and then the cycle continues.

Here are my suggestion for getting out:

  1. Know your budget.  There are so many ways around saving money.  If you want to take a tour but the price is too steep, get your Groupon on and find alternatives.  See if you can get a group of you together to do the same.  Often times groups of 10 or 20 or more can save money instantly.
  2. Pick a date and schedule the time to go.  Treat yourself as a priority.  You pay your bills on time, or at least you should, right?  Pencil yourself some me time in and stick to it.  Make it just as important as anything else.
  3. Be spontaneous.  I am a planner so my calendar fills up.  However I have had so much fun allowing time to not be the pressure.  My family and I have done some pretty random things and the fun has been huge.  Do not define yourself to a box.  It’s good to have things in stone but be okay with a few accidental fun trips too.
  4. Open up to new activities-I recently went to a location I hadn’t been in years and decided to do new activities I hadn’t or wouldn’t have had fun and guess what?  I had a blast.  Sometimes being a creature of habit needs to be broken too.
  5. Remember the most important rule of life-time waits for no one.  I know that you are prolonging things and you will get to it eventually, but for many eventually NEVER comes.  Do it.  You deserve to live the best life and that’s a personal decision to wake up and determine daily.

So are you going to have more memories of the Summer of 2016?  Are you going to be in a position to let your hair down a little?  If you say, yes-start with a little weekend fun and build upon that every week!!

Happy First Day of Summer

OH yes can you feel the sun on your skin?  I can.  I love summer.  I’m not sure if I love Summer more than Fall but I love Summer.  It’s such a magical time of year for me.  I love being outside at festivals, cookouts, at the pool, etc.  I love it all.  Nothing like mingling with friends and family during the Summer heat.

I know for all of those who borderline hate Summer, I still love you but just keep in mind if you live in one of those areas like me that gets hit with snow.  As soon as the snow hits we get the complainers that cry bring on the heat but when it comes we complain about that, right?  Not me I live for the heat.  I rather be hot than cold.  Any who so as usual with this being my favorite time of the year let me hip you to my list of Summer time etiquette.

  1. Cookouts-always no matter if someone says don’t bring anything, come with the goods.  Even if it’s a hostess gift like a bottle of wine, bring something more than your belly and mouth.  Cookouts are fun but expensive to pull off.  The cost in meat alone can throw a budget into a downward spiral.  Always stay gracious and no do not do what Beyoncé says and get your paper.  No get you some packs of hamburgers and rolls to share.  Yes you will need paper to get the hamburger rolls but often times folks sitting on the paper don’t always want to contribute.  So take a dive to the store on your way to the cookout.  Bring a bag of ice, something especially if you rolling in deep with a party of 5 like me at all times.
  2. Sunblock should be your friend.  I don’t care if you are a walking melanin poster board, get you some SPF.  You can and will burn and skin cancer, hello?  Ain’t nothing cute about skin cancer, so protect yourself and your family.  I meant it they sell them 2 in a pack nowadays.  I don’t care what brand but make sure it’s at least 50 SPF.
  3. Drink but don’t forget the water. I know I for one love a good alcoholic drink like the next one but don’t skip on the water.  No the excuse that alcohol is mixed with water won’t work while your behind is at the bottom of the pool laid out due to dehydration.  Nope get you an adult sippy cup aka them BPA free cups and get your drink on.  Then when you drink your alcoholic drink you earned the right for that cold one.
  4. Plan ahead. Summer is mixed with a lot of sun and the weather can be unpredictable. So make plans and always have a back up plan especially if you have children.  I usually don’t even tell my kids that we are going somewhere until we are in route.  However make sure if the occasional shower pops up you are ready.
  1. Be stylish.  Summer is a good time to throw on a dress ladies.  Its something that you don’t have to even think about.  But newsflash sun dresses ain’t for everyone. I know you think it is but it’s not.  Get the dress that flatters you.  If you got problem areas it’s no time to be working a body con dress.  You need a dress with a little flair.  You can be cute and not looked squeezed into your outfit in the name of Summer.  Trust me your friends didn’t tell you but I will.  Get the right dress for the body you carrying around and not the one you wish you had.  If you putting in the work, that other body is on its way.  If not well you got work to do but leave the other dresses for the other ladies that need them.
  2. Have fun-do you know how many free events are in a city near you?  No really there are plenty.  You have a phone in this day and age and Goggle works pretty much on all of them.  Stop the “I have nothing to do” phrase.  You got things to do its the little path between look it up and get up.  I am the queen of the goggle.  If I want it, I look for it and then follow through and go.  Fun is really just a click away.  Also have backups ready for rainy days.  I love to place all of my magazines in a bin so when a slow day comes, I can read them or a good book.  I may even open the windows and doors and let the rain quiet myself.  However on high fun days, my family and I are usually up and out.  
  3. Make memories-are you the type to look at what others are doing but you yourself don’t have Summer vacation, or Summer fun photos?  Well that’s because you got to take some.  Get out and capture the moment but don’t lose yourself behind the lens. Memories are what it’s about so make some.

Summer is a time to have fun.  Make sure you are out and about.  We will be talking about some of the fun things that take place in summer time such as outside dates, wedding season, etc.  So be on the lookout.

 

Summer break don’t let it break you!

Welp the sun is out and the heat is high that can only mean one thing, summer break.  The phrase that all parents dread to hear at the end of the school year.  Most parents will scramble to find summer camps only to find that either the good ones are taken or they can’t afford it.

What does a parent do?  Well one thing to do is check with your child’s school.  They are a good source of information for summer camps if you still intend on placing your child in one. Another suggestion is to check with your local recreation commission office.  They have discounts on all things summer from discounted tickets to places to go.

Movie theaters usually does a summer series where they have movies from almost free to discounted prices during the day.  Also you’re already on Facebook, Instagram and twitter use these resources to follow the places you want to take your kids they usually announce special online deals throughout the summer.

Get out and head to your local library. They have valuable series and events all year-long and especially in the summer to encourage children to keep reading while school is out.  Speaking of books, head to your local Barnes and Nobles for story time.  They are usually in the day time as well as they have events already printed a month in advance to get involved in.

Your local churches may also in addition to vacation bible schools, have information on discounted programs being offered in your neighborhood.  Be creative and be vigilant.  There’s no reason why being on a budget can’t still spell fun for your kids.  Get signed up for Groupon and other saving apps.  They have many things such as discounted tickets to bounce houses, various shows, etc.

Lastly while at home, get organized.  Provide plenty of structure for your little ones.  Make each week a different theme.  Yes take a trip to the Dollar Store, Five Below and your local craft store to get things like paint, chalk, coloring books etc.  Plan each week ahead of time so you will have your materials together.  Have indoor and outdoor material ready as well. Be creative.  Don’t let the little ones sit and watch television daily.

Make each day enjoyable and remember to add some work out days.  You already working on that summer time fine, so get the kids involved.  Drink water and have water check ins to increase water intake.  Kids lead by example so get active together.  Most cable providers have workout material that is free and at your disposal.

Get together with other parents and have play dates.  Do water days where a good hose, bathing suits can provide hours of fun as well as relief from the sun.  Remember to see life from their perspective and include all sensory fun while you enjoy your summer days.

One of my most helpful tips for parents is to provide Popsicles or make some of your own.  Yes this inexpensive treat is one of the best ways to step into summer.

Dos and Don’ts

Do NOT leave kids in hot cars unattended

-This shouldn’t have to be said but the cause of heat related injuries and deaths of children is due to the carelessness of parents who leave young kids left in hot cars. A few minutes can spell disaster.  Don’t want to take the little ones into the store, simple don’t go or order online.

Do NOT allow your children to go out in places without adult supervision.

Unfortunately as kids are out trying to enjoy their fun there are many irresponsible and disgusting adults that want to take advantage.

-Do NOT allow your children to drink too many sugary drinks and sodas.  This should be a treat and not a staple.  Encourage more water intake as heat exhaustion is real even for little people.

Be wise overall in the summer time, increase sun block every time your children are exposed to the sun.  Taper off some daytime outside play when the sun is really high.

Do ENJOY your time with your children.  Remember it’s all about creating memories.

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