Acting Real Focused

Why is it that people tell you to reach for your goals? Simple if you keep going even if you fall, one day it will pop! The second you do you’re acting funny, cute, or like you got it like that. No the part your missing is I’m acting real focused. I know where I am going and I’m striving to get there. I can’t stop to make you feel better that I stayed in your lane. Either get a new lane or come up! Simple and plain! Also you have no idea what a person goes through behind the scenes in order to make their dreams come true. Hard work and dedication comes at a price always!

Who is going to push for your dreams more than you? Not one soul. Not one person is in charge of your journey like you are. You have to keep trying and keep going. There is an idea inside of you so keep on pushing until someone who needs to hear it does.

Do you know even in blogging there are moments when you snag that national account and moments when you don’t. There are moments when thousands read your work and days when they don’t. Never give up! Persistency is how you win! So this is why I keep going. I started my blog 3 years ago to a crowd of a few and now that crowd has grown and continues to grow. I’m more determined to keep going until I get to work with the likes of Essence or Mother Oprah. Why? I know I can reach the goal and I know that goal it’s attainable.

So whatever goal you have, crush it! Don’t quit or let the folks see you sweat! Use your voice to get the folks together and press on!Your yes is on its way!

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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!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self-Care Your Week

So I told you about how last week was pretty rough. Between me not realizing that camp was delayed for a week to working from home, last week was tough. So I looked at what I did that worked and what didn’t work and came up with a few things we all can do to self care our week:

1. Drink plenty of water: today in Philly it will be almost 100 degrees no need in not taking care of your health so drink up!

2. Take a break: go outside that’s the one saving grace that made the difference last week. Being outside helps your mood

3. Go offline: I love social media but take a break even if it’s for an hour

4: Mind your business: this should be done often but the amount of negativity that we take on always stirring the pot of someone else’s lives can be better used in focusing on ways to improve ours.

5: Work out: you will lose some unwanted pounds as well as relieve stress

6: Get some sleep: watching television is great but sitting up every night while it watches you is not. Going to bed earlier a few nights a week does amazing things for your morning

7: Eat Right: overeating or even under eating is a problem. Make sure you also eat more fruits and vegetables your body will thank you

8: Read: take a magazine with you or a book and when you have down time while you’re taking that social media break, read!

9: Favorite Drink: sometimes having your favorite drink will make a great difference. Now that it’s hot Pintrest some Summer drinks and enjoy something cold and refreshing

10: Plan-setting brings into place will not make your week magical but it can cut down on a lot of stress of having to find things

Whatever you do make sure that you find little things that make your day and week that much better. You can do a thousand one things such as lighting candles, going to a favorite spot, etc

Choose to set the bar high on making sure you aren’t simply getting through the week but that you spend some time being good to yourself.

Have a great Monday and a great week!!

Sunday Message: A Different Light

Good Sunday morning to you all. I hope one you had or are having a great weekend and two you are finding ways to renew. One of the things we are talking about today is the phrase “I see them in a different light.” This is to suggest that whomever you were or are dealing with has changed and is no longer the way you remember them. It’s almost like the person has done a “switch.”

I would suggest that some people could possibly switch or that maybe you were unwilling to change the focus of your lens. You may not have been willing to see the special person in your life in a certain way and therefor excused their behavior. I have had this happened too many times to count. You simply don’t even consider the opinions of others and will only see them how you like them. So regardless of their negative qualities you simply bypass them and continue until…… they bite you, hurt you, show “their true colors,” etc.

Their true colors were on display the entire time your willingness to be blind is what handicapped you. If you have someone tell you about how a person is, take what they say into consideration of the potential of the person. This means be aware they may behave this way but do not simply say they aren’t capable. Doing this allows you to be honest about the person you are dealing with and make the decision to remain in their life. This also makes for when the “switch” happens for you to take the responsibility of not playing victim. You saw the negative potential and you still entreated or trusted them. Trust can be broken. It hurts. It’s devastating depending on the level of relationship, but sometimes we play victims to things we were willful participants and we need to be honest with at least ourselves.

The same light that drew you to a person was there to shine the light on them as a whole. You chose not to see all of their sides. You connected to the parts that benefited you. That is the honest assessment. So now that you have been bitten by their full personality you must make the decision to withdraw or continue. Do not let the ones who stand by saying I told you so push you and don’t let your pride of not wanting them to be right make you continue either. I’ve been wrong about friends. I’ve been guilty of continuing relationships with people I knew wasn’t right. These are choices. Honestly the longer you stay the worse the bite will be. True colors are always present you just have to take the sunglasses of selection off. The more you blind yourself into acceptance the worst the hurt will be.

Now the flip is you can just be friends or relationship with bad folks and you see them clearly and you just going to ride it out. This too is a choice. I am finding too if you make this choice and then person doesn’t belong in your life, events will continue to happen that will push your hand. You can’t improve yourself and not take accountable the circle you keep. Either you and your circle are going no where or one or more in that circle is in constant inner turmoil until they weed out the negativity. It’s like fighting yourself to be with a person or group of people and it WILL bother you until you do yourself a personal justice and end things.

You can let nature take its toll. Nature will always give you a way out. You can naturally end a relationship. You no longer like the same things so when the opportunity comes simply decline the invitation. The more declines let’s the person know you’re not feeling them. Also conversations will began to lack. One of the things that irk me but have been a blessing is “k.” You are in a relationship with someone and all they give is a k or one word answers and you’re trying to talk via text or even regular conversation is my ultimate pet peeve. There’s blessing in it. The more irritated I get by it the more I just communicate less. How can you be a friend and you’re excitedly attempting to talk to a person who is dry? That is a turn off and eventually I just share less. Nature will take its course!

So if you’re in constant inner struggle over a person who’s true sides have been showing you lack luster relationship or they have been “switching” take the time to be honest with yourself about what part you have played and how long you have allowed this to continue? Don’t stay just to prove someone else wrong. Don’t stay just because starting over would be an issue. Let nature take its course. Also you may have to end it too. You may have to do what you should have done week, months or years ago and that’s walk away!! It’s no longer serving you! You deserve to be in relationship with like minded folks. People who when you speak to them make you feel inspired. When you are around make you happy about life even when life is not only giving you lemons but feels like it’s giving you spoiled lemons.

Securing the Bag, Secure it All!

Ladies are securing bags everyday. The term securing the bag is in the context of getting your money or closing deals. I battle back and forth on using the term in the everyday life of just working since in my mind everyone is supposed to work, but again it’s my own personal thought. While your securing your bag be sure to secure your own emotions and definitely your body.  How many women worrying about securing the man, the job, the car, the section 8 payments sorry I had to go there because there are many who think that is life.  Ladies, being healthy, working out, eating right, drinking water, talking right to your kids, traveling, etc is a full-time job.  All of the things that we do to be secure in life comes at price points. What’s more pricey than you body and sexual health?  How many times does a woman have to lay down with a man thinking he is the bag.  He is not if you had a doubt.  He is not. What you secure on your own by hard work is but don’t in heat and not remember that.  Sex is great but its better in the right way.

Nothing in, Nothing Out

So back in the day the old mothers would tell you to save yourself for marriage. They meant it! Not the new way of saving yourself where you do everything but sex! If you don’t have nothing going in, won’t nothing come out. That’s a given. Now that goes for traditional virgins and born again virgins. If this non sex life is your life be sure that’s a decision you want. Don’t do it cause you are afraid of what someone will think. You’re the only one that has to combat them urges when they come. You can say what you will but you alone are in charge of that. Don’t let peer pressure to give it up or hold it move you one or the other. Sexual health is a personal decision-more on that later!

If you aren’t of that mindset then you better play by the rules of the land where you secure some birth control. The pull out method is one of the weakest methods. So don’t be found out here with a new boo telling you that it will work. Don’t even let the old boo tell you that mess either. It don’t work like you think. Many a baby has been made from that weak move.

We decided…

It’s so nice to have a partner that will agree or support your decisions. Please understand as a woman who you and you alone will have that child. All the support in the world hasn’t stopped women from having to take care of babies alone. Every woman didn’t lay down with a jerk or at least what they thought was one in the beginning. Some of these men have been Prince Charming!  Some have been husbands who have decided for whatever their reasons are, they don’t want to be apart anymore.  You the woman have to decide that if you aren’t ready to be a single mom at any given point in life, do not at that point or continue to have babies with any man.  Be careful.  This is a lifetime commitment that society has allowed men to be able to walk away from.  Note to my men this isn’t to bash you but to bring awareness.  This is the conversation that regardless of status you should be having.  Married women aren’t exempt.  My mom told me the realist message after I got engaged.  Marriage isn’t the end all be all.  You could be single at any moment.  The life you have built, can change and you better be sure that you are able and ready to take on that life by yourself should something change.

So yes go in with the we with the mindset of an I at any time am willing to bring this life on and take on all it takes on.  If you can’t say that with the partner you are with, then that’s your number one issue and your second issue is that if you say this will work, I can do this than be sure your anchor holds or you have the ability to mindset to push past any hindrances that may come.  Yes we know women are strong they can take it but the number one thing divorced women or women who partners have walked off or may have passed away say is that they never thought about this moment.  Life is beautiful but keep those moments in the back of your mind. Secure your future.  One more note, do NOT let a boyfriend or a fiance push you into any decision. This means no tubes tied, no having babies if that is not something YOU can live with.  Listen husbands don’t get a full pass. I know of many husbands who force their wives to continue in childbirth and at the end of the day those same men weren’t supportive after the baby is born.  It’s cute to have a baby with your husband until you’re in the house bare feet and pregnant with no job security, going through depression and can’t get that same husband to change one diaper.  Count up the cost.  Your mental piece is worth it.  Not to mention the physical needs…  The one thing I didn’t do was secure my own sexual health with my own husband. Gasp.  I alone should have taken my birth control, gotten my tubes tied before I did because that’s what I wanted to do and should have done.

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Don’t look for the tea.  I am good.  There’s no of my goodness what if her kids read this and think they didn’t want them.  STAWP!!!!!!! That is nowhere near the case.  However as much as I loved my boyfriend who turned my fiance who turned my husband,  it wasn’t his decision to make on the continuance of childbirth.  When my second child came it was what it was.  I was in-between decisions and careless on making a decision for birth control when my 3rd came.  She wasn’t a mistake at ALL.  None of my kids were regardless of how much the church folks was whispering.  NONE of my kids were a mistake but I failed myself in how I secured my sexual health.  I love the family that my husband and I have built. I wouldn’t change it but I can help other women be wise. That’s about real as it can get. It is what it is.  Thankful to my husband who he was the one who made me see it that way.  Yes he had his part we both get that but if we can get the younger generation to see the big picture from this, then it was all worth it.  Secure your sexual health married, divorced, seeking, not in the sex game, don’t know where things stand, whomever you may be secure everything not just the bag.

 

Sunday Message: Share and Open Yourself

So good Sunday evening. As I blog this my whole house is quiet and napping and that calls for a great glass of wine. But before I do that I had to share a little something with you. I love being apart of groups whether online or offline that are about something. With being in groups they add a sense of belonging. One of the things that happens is you share information and experience.

We all have something that another person needs. Whether you speak it, write it or share it, people are most likely going through what you have been through or will go through. Yes you can keep a few things for yourself. However consider speaking up about a few things that you have conquered. So many people are hungry, angry, or need support and just want to know they they aren’t alone.

You have a voice. Use it! Please stop thinking that you will have people all up in your business. And even if you did, let’s keep this real it ain’t nothing somebody ain’t been through. So many folks are so protective of their “stuff” and don’t realize how much healing and accountability can come out of sharing. I spoke to 5 women today who went through postpartum and all of them had the same theme, they didn’t know anyone had been through it. Some of them their own family members shrugged them all. They were not alone.

What about the things you are going through? Do you think that you’re the only one going through pain? Nope. You’re not! You’re only alone because you hold onto it and think that holding it will help you. Often times you just suffer in silence. That’s really the concept of any group you are in. It should be a place of support and love. Within that should be healing.

I encourage you to not hold your testimonies in your heart all the time. There are some folks that can benefit from you speaking your truth. Now that sounds like a win, right?! Indeed but there’s always a but…

Use discernment! Sometimes sharing with a few folks always comes with a backlash. When I started blogging I got the “what makes you an authority?” “You ain’t no wonder!” “You share/talk too much!” ” You got so much to say but you really need to….” The ones who said those things were not my intended audiences. It wasn’t for them. Remember I only post I don’t harass for support so… my thought is then and now, do not log on to read! It’s not shade it’s true!

I only share my life. I don’t have time to share from a 3rd party perspective. When I talk about failure it’s because I’ve had more moments of it than most and….. it’s helped others to be authentic. When I talk about giving up it’s because I’ve tried to do it and grace walked me back to success. When I talk about marriages being on edge it’s because my own has been dipped by foolishness and we are still liking one another. Sharing always comes with a little backlash but when someone sends me a response to one of my answers to their Ask Toi and says you listened when no one else did, I count that as worth it. When I look back at my own blogs and say thank you Lord for grace, that’s worth it.

I know that when I don’t have folks that will listen without judgement something will come up that speaks to me. It’s been a video, a song, a blog something positive that speaks to that negative battle I could be in and I’m super grateful that someone wasn’t ashamed to speak up! Speak to those around you. Know the audience to whom you are speaking to. When the ones around you give you issues, hear what you can use and then note the folks and learn to adjust your audience from them to where you need to be. Don’t get discouraged in what you have been through. We all can draw from one another. We all can help one another heal if we aren’t afraid to speak it!

The Importance of Preserving Yourself; Burnout Edition

Call it self-care or the ability to not lose your mind in this crazy and sometimes evil world! The way things are setting up you better figure out how to be your own best friend, confidant, and master cheerleader.

Trust me the opposite of mastering the above skill sets will have you drained. You will have given to everyone and everything and never really reach your own personal plateau. Life will be so mundane. You will look around and ask yourself why?! This my friend is called burn out. Burnout is failure. Burnout is devastating. It doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around but it’s a temporary “L.” You will feel it! It’s hard not to if you have allowed yourself to get to the point of a burnout! The range of emotions that are felt at that moment of burn out can go from sorrow to anger and even a combination of a gambit of stuff in between. What’s the solution?

Acceptance

This is the stage where you realize the snapping out, the anger, the moodiness is for a reason. Usually you would have to be willing to even entertain that maybe deep down maybe everyone ain’t telling the same lie. You have given a reason to everything that points away from you but then you realize maybe what people are saying is true. Maybe I am hard to deal with! Maybe I am being a nag! Maybe just maybe I should look into me and work my life so maybe instead of living a life of calamity I may be able to muster up a better situation.

Make a Plan

You have accepted that you have a little work to do now you need a plan to help you overcome. This means that you will need to be clear in what you need to be successful and turn around this burn out. Often times it may mean unplugging from social media. You could be spinning out of control due to you comparing yourself and your life to others. Also often times especially family who you know their lives off-line and knowing they don’t match their online persona actually can tail spin you. The frustration alone can make you burn out.

Another plan is to take a break. Did you know even the most on point person needs a break. Oh I know you can’t afford it. Money or the lack thereof is the number one reason to not plan a vacation. I know for a fact that if you sat down with your money and looked at your spending by writing things down you can find some areas to cut. If you’re going to be broke at least be broke saving money for a purpose. Also you can plan an amazing staycation. There are ways to be creative and get a break, take a nap, and refuel. I love a good to do list. However with learning balance I’ve learned is that you don’t have to solve all of problems in a day. Start your list but don’t be overcome by one. You will see the light if you keep pushing! However push and take a breather too!

Whatever you decide to do. Take a break and make a plan! People are over worked and underpaid fulfilling the desires and needs of those around them all while operating from an empty bank and I don’t just mean money. One of the things that my new boss has stressed is the importance of balance. He makes sure his team understands that. There is no need to make a sick day, just take day and refuel. This means that he supports self-care for his team and he believes it’s the one way to increase productivity. It’s true!! Apply the same principles to your life. Sometimes the dishes can wait. You can tell a family member no. You can pickup things and leave things too!