National Make A Difference Day

How can you make a difference? This is such an open-ended question. We always have a tenacity to go to what we don’t have before we answer. You start listing all of the things you aren’t before you can just simply find ways to be the difference in someone else’s lives.

Whatever gifts and talents that are inside of you is more than enough to make a difference. Here are a few ways you can give back and make a difference:

 

Home Life

One charity starts at home. I hate to see people who are super bomb to everyone around them except their own family. I hate to see it with parents who go out and win everyone else’s child but ignore the issues with their own. I hate to see husbands and wives flex on social media but behind closed doors, give silent treatments and ignore the needs of their spouse. We all have to do better.

  • Spend more time with your children. Yes you work to provide. Provision is responsibility. Taking time away from your phone, to sing a song, or play one of their games, or sit and ask them what they like and what’s bothering them makes a difference for a child. Try it some time.
  • Love on your mate. Whether it’s a boo, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife, take some time and spend it on them. Yes gifts are great, but how about watch one of their shows actively with them. How about talk and make sure the air is clear? You can also make a dessert together. These are inexpensive ways to show the ones you love that you are one with them.
  • Check in on loved ones. We say we love folks but the only time we check in on them is if we have the tea about another family member. Change that. Call and ask if all is well and mean it. Than when you find out it’s not if you can help, help. Also unless someone told you to tell another person, build trust and just listen and not take their issues to another family member so you “can pray about it.”

Work Life

  • Show up and be on time ready to work. That’s a ministry all in itself.
  • Don’t be apart of the office gossip-remember the same lips bringing you the tea, is the same one taking your tea to stir at another pot on you
  • Be the change in the office you want to see
  • If the job no longer serves you, don’t stay get an exit plan. This may take time, but be proactive in leaving
  • Find ways to be more productive even if that means changing the scenery. When work starts to get to me sometimes I redecorate to fit a new mood. It helps me about 60% of the time

Social Media Life

  • Don’t go back and forth with them……. (in my Lil Duval voice) if you find yourself having to respond to more than one comment just stop. You aren’t going to win an argument on social media with trolls
  • Be who you post to be. Yeah that’s right. Align your social media to reflect who you are. On my social media I highlight me as a mom and wife. I don’t create doors to let anyone think they have space to slide in the DM. They do but at that point they just are trying to do the most.
  • Make sure you don’t do subliminal post. This is hard even for me at times. You see a post and it speaks to you but post it cause it spoke to YOU. You can’t be out here taking shots at folks you don’t even @

 

We all have things that we can give to the world. I came across a young lady on social media that is a hair dresser and she feeds the homeless. This is her life work. She literally gets out there with the folks that many would snub their noses at, and she feeds them and cleans them up and does their hair. She has a whole team of folks that assist her. Think about how her being there does for them. She treats them with dignity and respect. I know if I was down and out the last thing I would want is someone kicking me when I was done. What about those who raise money for others?  They are making a difference in the causes by which they are raising it for. How about those who set up camps at the bus stops for kids to make sure all of the kids have breakfast. You don’t know what someone may be going through at home. Everybody ain’t sitting at home collecting checks. Some middle class folks work everyday and still can’t make ends meet. How about the men who go into the community to pray over the city. There are a few groups here in Philadelphia who do it consistently. What can you do? Whatever gift is inside of you can help make a difference.

I said it before but around thanksgiving I see so many companies give back to others and it warms my heart. If you cut hair, how about offer your services to people who can’t afford to maintain their cuts on a regular basis? If you are a financial planner, offer your services to a few families for free to get them out of debt?  The sky is the limit. Whatever you do, do it well. Someone needs the very thing you have and complain about. Make a difference today and everyday!

 

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Re-write Your Monday

Today was one for the books. I needed a drink and it wasn’t even 8am. I felt like I was on a show where I had to phone in a friend, grab a locksmith, and all before I even had a sip of my coffee. You know coffee is life. However today I had to take a second, regroup, ask for help and rewrite my Monday.

casual fashion girl outfit

Photo by JÉSHOOTS on Pexels.com

As much as life throws at us, we would think we are more prepared to deal with an occasional drama moment or two. However today proved that I am not. I haven’t had to live in chaos, but it won’t mean it wont come knocking on my door every now and again. One I am glad for friends and family who can help without asking a ton of questions. They believe in you, see that change, and when you need them they don’t hesitate. God is good. Also thanks to Mike who got me in where I needed to be. What a way to start the day.  You know that moment when you get the laundry done AND folded, bags packed, and then you think you got Monday and Monday don’t got you………..

I decided to take a moment to collect my thoughts and say had this been a few years ago you would have been a mess. So what do you want your Monday to look like? I wanted it to run smoothly.  I felt like all the preparation that I put into it should have yielded better results. The issue was that regardless of the preparation I put into it, life happens. It was a test. It was a test to see if I would break down. It was a test to see if I would crumble. I didn’t so regardless if it started off crazy in the end I won. How about you? We love the Mondays where you feel super empowered due to the fact that things just line up, but when it doesn’t, can you still smile? Can you still get through? Can you find a way to reset and re-write your Monday.

I heard something last week that stuck with me. It was a motivational speaker and she was talking about how we have bad moments keep us in bad days. If someone cut you off in traffic at 8am, why is that still a thing at 9?  I had to think about the times I would do that. How many moments I missed of readjusting myself for a bad moment?  How many times did I sit around speaking more negative energy into my day? So today I used that same mindset to continue this day. I will continue finding solutions to my problems. I will find ways to make this week pop by writing out my goals and focusing on that alone. How about you? What are you going to do?

Children’s Hospital Parkway 5k

This is the 16th year for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Parkway 5k that benefits children cancer. This was my 1st year running it!

What I loved about it outside of raising money so no child has to deal and endure cancer and its side effect is the people who participate in it. These are families of current and unfortunately some who walk or run in memory of a child who has had cancer. That is heartbreaking to say the least.

To find that kids and their families having to deal with cancer is unimaginable. I didn’t run with a team but as an individual because as a parent I would be devastated if I received cancer’s news. I pray that no one continues to hear those words. Until then I plan on raising money towards these funds to assist families during their time of need.

I want to thank the amazing fellow runners who were beyond super welcoming, energetic and supportive. I also want to thank those who donated! Such an amazing thing to know that there are others in this world who feel the need to support children! All of the sponsors at the run were amazing! I also want to thank my family and friends for being super supportive! Lastly let’s thank the Lord and these knees! I am finding that my knees are at a place where they need them extra stretches but everything I cross that finish line (finished today at 33:11) I’m grateful to be able to do the one thing I love and it’s to run!

Special recognition to Icy Hot for being in the clutch as I begin to wind down!!

Until the next run which is in 6 weeks and my walk next week! Let’s see what these knees can do!! I conquered yet another one!! I’ll be recovering my noodle legs and attempting to set my week straight!!

Why Podcasts Are Necessary for Mental Management

I love music. I have blogged about how music is really one of those things that aids in controlling your mind-set.   One of my newest mindful tactics is podcasts.  My interests are pretty eclectic and ranges from my favorite blog series, to politics, to music, fashion, parenting and even a few celebrity-inspired ones as well. I listen to podcasts at least once or twice a day.  I find that I exchange it in its place for music sometimes especially when I get a few minutes of peace.

The benefits to me is mindfulness. I am able to explore different topics that I enjoy or learn new things daily.   It allows me to switch it up and feel like I am listening to more purpose filled blogs on the go.  I enjoy writing my own blogs, writing for TCP network or even guest appear on other blogs, but all of that is behind the scenes.  Hearing other people’s voices speak on a subject matter is super soothing.  Now be aware of why you listen to podcasts and be sure to find the ones you are interested in.  I know for me the podcasts I stick close to are the ones that allow me to listen straight through.  Any of them that I find myself fast forwarding I don’t follow or continue to listen to the artist.  No disrespect but my time is valuable so I need to utilize it wisely. I need something that speaks to me as a woman, mother, wife, or just one that provides a good listen to the things that I find the most interesting.  I have also been featured in one and let me say that the podcasts was super nerve-racking.  One I talk super fast and I am not interested in hearing my voice on a daily.  Shout out to podcasts artist who take their artistry serious.  I will leave it up to you great voices and may only do an appearance here or there.

Benefits:

  • Helps to calm your nerves
  • Helps you to maintain information
  • Guards your mindset
greyscale photography of condenser microphone

Photo by Tommy Lopez on Pexels.com

With that being said here’s a list of my favorite podcasts in no particular order and why I like them:

BGIO-Black Girl In OM

This blog I found about a year ago.  I was at work and having a bad day and I literally looked them up and stumbled upon a jewel.  This podcasts talks about mindfulness and addresses what its like to be a creative black women who is making her mark.  I absolutely love it and although they haven’t had a new episode sine July, it’s still worth going back and listening to.

GirlBoss

This podcasts along with the website talks about mindfulness as well as every aspect of what makes a woman a woman.  They give great tips and they are an easy listening podcasts that I listen to when I am on my way home.  I have planned a few outfits to work just from hearing the information given.  Plus who doesn’t want to be a boss?  We aren’t bossy we are bosses! Right?  Right! This podcasts makes me own it!

Mastering Marriage: This podcasts are from a married couple, Amanda and David Taylor.  I found them a few years ago when I got married.  They are a couple that talk about how they were headed down the road of divorce.  I love this real and vulnerable talk about how marriage taking work and that things are never as cookie cutter as we especially women want them to be.  I applaud them for being able to share their real life story of how bad things can get if you aren’t connected and doing the work to maintain.

Women Evolve

So this one is by Sarah Jakes Roberts, the daughter of esteemed pastor T.D. Jakes.  I was a bit leery of this one because I love the lord but I am also the one that will throw hands and I didn’t need an overly church podcasts.  So I just started this podcasts but…. I have listened to all of them.  Let me tell you why I like this podcasts and have respect for Sarah, she is real.  I like her calm approach to the topics that she knows we know about.  She can take a topic from the Shaderoom and spin it to where it’s not a place to hear a dump of information.

TCP; The cultured Professional is the other network that I am on.  I would advise this is your one stop shop to be aware, awoke and therefore enlightened.  This network is diverse, young, and ready to tackle on the  world both professionally and personally.  They give it to you straight just like my personality.

Within TCP is there are 5 podcasts that have shows weekly on TCP Facebook. I would suggest you connect to the page as well as link to all of the other pages on Facebook page as well if you have time to link and hear the podcasts in real-time.  If not you can do like I do and catch them on the flip side!

black recordering microphone

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Hip Hop and Politics: this blog challenges what you think about the politics around you in addition to how hip hop plays an important part of that.  Also a lot of these podcasts actually live shows but the way my life is set up I barely can listen to them live.  But fear not that’s what podcasts are for?  I can go back and watch them.  Although in my link its for Apple iTunes, they are on all major streams for podcasts, check it out!

Sayless: This podcast is one of the most happily ignorant podcasts.  This is the one I listen to on the train ride into work. It gets me going.  They cover it all from having sex on the first date, spoken word, or catching your significant other with a sex doll.  Yep they take it there.  This is not your momma’s podcasts. So I would caution if you were looking for politically correctness, this isn’t the place.  For the real adults, get your ear phones and turn up!

Raw Royalty: shout out to women empowering one another.  This is a queens only podcasts. I listen to them on Sunday night as I go through my house getting my life right for the week.  They don’t hold anything back.  From raising kids, dealing with co parenting, to dating dos and don’ts, it all hits the fan.  They make me adjust my crown every time I turn them on.  Raw Royalty is also in conjunction with Regal Finesse:

Regal Finesse is your one stop shop for everything a young king and queen need from work out gear to your shirts.  Check out their designs.  They even have a few more things up their sleeve, literally.  Be on the look out!

Opinionated Facts: This is the Sports and man-cave talk for the men! I do still listen to them.  They talk about things from your favorite shows to current events and sports but I love hearing men talk that talk.  Why as a woman its hard for me to understand the makings of a man.  I love listening to these kings talking and hearing their perspective.  Letting men be men and I love it!

The newest newbie but definitely doing its thing in the podcasts arena is Shots of E and J.  Lady E and Jessica are the most woke white girls I know.  They do not sugar coat anything and they tell it like it is.  They are definitely becoming one of my favorites.  I love how real and raw but they come with the facts.  They hit you hard and steady with the facts then cut you quick before you even know you were cut.  Their interviews are great and they make sure that they talk about the issues that are in the media such as Serena Williams cheating (we know she ain’t cheat) to being a stan for Drake.  They hit it all so make sure you don’t miss it!

Like I said, make sure that you continue to catch these and add some more to your arsenal.  I literally listen to podcasts while doing a number of duties in my life.  As I am going to work, rotating the kids from bath, etc.  I literally try to keep my mind clear and sometimes podcasts are another notch of mindfulness to add to your daily self-care!

2018 Philly Night Nation Stand Up to Cancer Run

So anything that raises money for cancer count me in. Helping others is what we all should do. Running while helping is the tip of the iceberg. This was my first Night Nation Run but it definitely will not be my last. What I like about it was it’s literally an outside party run filled with drinks, an awesome crowd, dancing, and high energy!

So after I got my run packet I went in and stopped at 99 Brand. It’s been a little minute since I’ve had 99 anything. You know the alcohol who makes 99 apples, 99 bananas etc. I was given 2 free samples. The samples were pretty much regular shot amounts and I sure didn’t mind. I had the 99 peach and 99 bananas and I must say I might need to make a state store run and mix the two. Judge me but they were good.

I did have one more drink and stopped myself. One, I can’t run with alcohol so this was the first for me. Two I had attended the run by myself and making sure I was aware of anything and anyone around me was the first thing on my mind. Outside of that it was definitely party time. They kept the DJs rocking and rotating. The crowd loved it. Between that and watching out for the beach balls being tossed it was a good time!

Finally it was time to do the actual run. It was supposed to be a 5k however I think the dimensions were off a little. Since doing Broadstreet Run, this 5k was merely a recreational run! But the energy was unmatched. I met a lot of awesome people! I danced the night away and thank goodness for that breeze it was necessary.

Shoutout to my husband and family for coming to support me. I think they had a great time as well. Don’t worry they were no where around for the party scene. By the time they saw me I was tired and back in mom mode. I look forward in raising more money next year and I’ll definitely make my presence known!!

Any of US Could be Kenneka?

Unless you live under a rock you have heard the story of Kenneka Jenkins, the young lady who was found in a freezer in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Chicago.  This story has had twitter and social media in a frenzy.  She left with a group of friends to attend a party and never came home.  Follow any of the hashtags to follow the story.  Regardless of the distorted facts one fact remained is that she had some extremely horrible “friends” and that she was being brought there to be raped.

Now I have seen the memes floating about how her death and rape has sparked the whole be careful of your friends movement but it makes it seem as if the rapist and murdered of Kenneka deserves a pass?  My thoughts are on what planet?  Just because people are using this story to remind others about their choice of friends that doesn’t mean that the rapists and murder whomever they may be are fine.  The way the information is spilling, the rapists and murders can be her friends.  Everyone in that hotel room should be charged.  Hands down.  I will not dispute that.  It’s not a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Everyone who live streamed it, turned the music to muffle Kenneka’s cries, participated, set it up, and carried it out should be charged.  AND you should STILL watch your friends.

I placed myself in the place of a mother.  I am a mother in real life.  I have two daughters. My oldest child is very lovable and already possesses the thoughts that her friends are great.  However as her mother teaching her right from wrong I am the voice until she has a voice on whom is not for her.  Yes, even at 8 I have had to call out a few of the mean girls.  My daughter goes to private school which means for the most part her classes are small and most of the kids in her class have already been together since Kindergarten.  They hang together in and out of the classroom. If you think that I as a mother am not in her ear telling her, pointing out, and calling out her fake friends you are sadly mistaken.  We ALL have had to deal with those who we thought was real and found it wasn’t remotely true.

I was asked this week have I ever had to deal with fake friends and the answer is HELL YES.  My eyes were opened AFTER something went down.  Whether that was hearing of stories being said tabout me, being left at a party, etc, it has happened.  Or the times I have had a circle of friends who were really friends because we had one mutual friend involved and heard some crap about me that I didn’t tell the group.  These are the very recipes for fake friends.  I do not think Kenneka realized that until her unfortunate death.  I said on my SnapChat and I will say it again, its not just the teenagers we need to worry about it’s the young girls that are my oldest daughters age that already show mean girl attributes.  It’s the grown women who keep stuff going well into their 40s and up. This mean girl mentality can begin at any age.  It doesn’t discriminate so while others are pointing their fingers at Kenneka, remember to re-evaluate your own circle.

Image result for kenneka jenkins

Listen cutting off friends is hard.  It hurts.  It makes your circle smaller.  Here are a few things to watch for:

  1. The “leader” that likes to control off the cards aka the information that is given to the group.  My rule of thumb is that just because we share a mutual friend don’t bring me no news about someone I don’t pick up the phone and call myself.  Do you know how many people talk that let’s pray for her crap and ain’t been in church a month of Sundays.  Stop believing the that’s my sis crap. That same sis is the same one when you get on hard times will give your information to people who don’t even know you.  Rule of thumb even in a group setting, let others tell their own business.  Stop giving in the name of friendship other’s information unless you have permission.
  2. When one or more lie about inviting another but talk about how that one don’t come.  I had that happen recently.  I found out that after all this talking about one “friend” went down the girl wasn’t even invited but the “leader” told everyone they were and then talked bad about them for not coming.  IF they will do it to one they will do it to all
  3. Be still sometimes.  We go to things without asking the right questions.  If you feel something isn’t right, trust what you say and have your own mind.

These are the lessons that even at 8 I have had to share with my daughter.  These will NOT solve fake friends problems but it will open eyes.  We believe anything.  Just because you know someone for a long time don’t always mean they have your best interest in heart. Also to my men you play a HUGE part in some of this.  For the men who use women as bait, stop.  Start having conversations with your son and other young men about respect. Too many women trying to protect each other but not having men stand and rally behind them to do the same.  Sorry your fragile egos can’t take a no but remember at some point, this could have been your daughter, mother, cousin, etc. Keneeka is all of us and I have the deepest sympathy for that mother and family.  I pray that the ones who did this, will come forward and take responsibility soon.  R.I.P Kenneka Jenkins!!

Weekly Recap: May 26, 2017

Happy Friday to you all! Who is ready for the weekend?  I surely am.  Let me just make a world-wide declaration to my beautiful daughter, Naila-happy 8th birthday.  My daughter and I am rightfully biased is one of the sweetest, amazing little girls to date. She loves everyone and is such a jewel to be around.  We plan to celebrate her all weekend long.  I pray continued love, strength and peace to her life always.

It’s also Memorial Day weekend.  So this means that there are going to be a few activities that will be taking place in a city near you.  If you live in or around Philadelphia there are a lot of FREE events taking place.  We ALL can afford free right?  The point is to get out and enjoy yourself.  Don’t go back to work on Tuesday with the boring didn’t do anything unless that is what you wanted to actually do-NOTHING.  Rest, relax, organize, plan for the rest of the Summer time.  Memorial Day is the unofficial start to Summer so get out and get busy.

Personal Highs

This has been a really interesting week for me. I am still coming down on my weight.  I am about to shift from just losing weight to maintaining for the month of June.  I am looking to get to my goal so I can purchase this Boho style swimsuit.  I haven’t bought a swimsuit in 5 years.  Also I was in a lot of control when it came to dealing with the things that life through just this week.  I almost had a little mental break down but some encouragement came and helped me along the way.  I had such an amazing time with my husband this past weekend and some much-needed me time as well.

News

  1. Prayers to those in Manchester.  A bomber decided to bomb the Ariana Grande concert that was being attended by mostly teenager and young children.  My heart goes out to those who lost their lives as well as those injured from the deadly blast. I can’t understand why there is so much evil in this world but there is.
  2. Trump’s administration is supposedly under the microscope.  Even with getting into all of the politics of it all I do believe that Trump believes that he has the power to do as he pleases.  I do not believe he under the concepts of checks or balances.  So we shall keep watching to see what comes of all of this.
  3. Greg Gianfonte is out here body slamming reporters-allegedly.  It’s sad when offices used to be respected therefore they carried themselves to a higher standard.  Pretty soon they going to be pulling even more stunts but what do I know.
  4. Chris Cornell died of an apparent suicide.  His wife is saying medication he was on is what led to his death and he would have not killed himself otherwise. I pray peace during this difficult time.

Personal Lows

  1. I spoke last week about awaiting for test results well I got them back. It doesn’t look good.  I have to be seen this week for some blood related issues and so when I have a treatment plan in place than I will blog openly about what is going on.  I have no problems sharing anything in my life and especially about health due to the fact there is always going to be someonelse who will go through it too.  I will inform you all of any changes especially any changes that distributes the blog.  If you aren’t already following me on Facebook please do as many of the changes will be announced there, https://www.facebook.com/toitimeladies/

Blogs

  1. Ask Toi-about family or friends who come over uninvited and especially as parents who have small kids and have a sitter.  It’s always good to call first.  You don’t know what is going on with people and it shows a respect for other people’s time. If you come over unannounced than don’t expect to have access to someone’s home no matter how close you are if who you are visiting has a sitter.  If that sitter isn’t aware of you stopping by its going to be a closed-door that greets you.
  2. Ask Toi-taking a sex break while married.  You have a right and a choice to engage or disengage but I would suggest that you work out the issue that is causing you to want to take a sex break than to go to you mate and not have a clear definition of what that means.  Do NOT expect your mate to be okay with it but you have the right to your body and to be vocal in what your intentions are.
  3. Annoying co-workers anyone?  Yes we ALL have them. Simple things to keep in mind as you go through the work day.
  4. Mirage screens-we put too much stock in what others are doing, what they are portraying, what they show us, etc.  Worry more on your own life and less on celebrities or couples or individuals you admire.

As we end this week and dive into the long weekend a few reminders:

  1. Sunscreen should be worn all year round not just in the Summer months.  However since pools and beaches will be swarmed this weekend and beyond, don’t forget it. I use a SPF in my makeup as well.
  2. Keep your kids close.  Do NOT get comfortable and get caught up in celebrating that you forget about them.  There are sick people everywhere and the last thing you need is a child to be unaccounted for.
  3. Drink but be safe.  I like a beverage or two but if you think DUI check points aren’t real you are sadly mistaken.  Be careful.  If you are tipsy call a Uber, etc.
  4. Violence unfortunately especially in some cities that are already plagued with violence more will break out.  Watch the company you keep and be vigilant in having peaceful get togethers.  If you are having a fault with someone and can’t be mature than don’t even attempt to resolve it at that time.  I pray that all innocent bystanders will be protected as well.  You can be at the right place at the wrong time, do nothing and still end up hurt or dead.  Prayers to all my ToiTime readers and followers.

Continue reading Weekly Recap: May 26, 2017