Friday Weekly Recaps: January 18, 2019

So I started this series last year and I decided to bring it back. I will be quite a few series in this 2019 year. Be on the look out. The weekly recaps are simple, they keep you updated on what you might have missed as well as it keeps you updated on me and what I have going on. So here we go:

Blog Life

So blogging this week was fine. I did a video on my Facebook page regarding the Women’s History series we do every March. This is important. We are talking about failures from every day women who like you and I are out here pushing through, sometimes getting stuck and acknowledging where they are. If you want to be heard and want your story told, remember email me at toitimeblog@gmail.com

Women all around the world can participate in this blog series. It has always been a great response from women to support women and uplift women. Also getting the blogs done ahead of March allows me to edit them and set them to go live on their respected days and times.

Blogging in general has become easier as the capabilities of working this site are amazing. I can do them, edit, and release them and I don’t have to be glued to my laptop or phone. This is a far cry from how it was when I first began.

Fit Life

Things are looking great. I am working out and amping things up. I slowed it down after my last run in November to recover from an ankle injury.  It has allowed me to enjoy the holidays and now that I have my 2019 run schedule in place its time to get things going. So this year I am running in 5 races and 3 walks/fun races so that’s 8 opportunities this year to keep me motivated. I am following the same schedule as last year leaving November and December to be my down time. It works for me.

Kid Life

My children are doing amazing. My son is back in soccer.  So soccer mom and dad are on the move. I really call myself and my husband Uber parents on the weekend. My kids social schedules are pretty packed. With 3 kids it’s a lot to manage but well worth it. My oldest is still in Girl Scouts. Girl Scout cookie sales just started yesterday so I am the cookie mom who is out here getting these orders together. My youngest is enrolling in karate so we pretty much just make sure we sync our calendars, drink our water, and I make sure I grab my coffee at this point.  We are those parents who are definitely on the move. I think it helps though to keep us on point and keep the kids completely grounded.

Also shout out to my youngest for getting Super Student and my oldest for getting Peace Maker of the month award!

Travel Life

I am also working on my travel schedule for this year. I know what you’re thinking, how is it possible? It’s possible because I am making it a priority. Between planning a Baecation, family vacation, a few girls get together, traveling out of the country, etc its all going to be a juggling act. I literally can smell beaches all in my Summer plans. Bring on the tan lines.  It will be fun to watch all of these plans come together while maintaining sanity and life.

Personal Life

I have been doing a better job in understanding how my responses to those around me matters. For instance a situation happened where if my response wasn’t right I could have made matters worst. But I have been speaking slowly and listening faster. I am starting to realize that not everything deserves a response.  Also I am learning that I don’t have to overextend myself. I have always been the type to help and give. Now I understand that I can cut back and allow some things to not happen on my side. I don’t have to give to others who don’t give to me. I never do it for other’s response but there’s a difference in giving to others because it’s the right thing to do or giving to others as they take and continue to be people who withdraw from your resources as well.

We have a cat, Tiki. I am well I wasn’t a fan of cats in the past. To be honest I really didn’t like them.  I am finding that I really love our cat. My son has been asking for one for quite some time. Between my daughter wanting water frogs and my son, we gave in. So now we have 2 water frogs and a cat and working our way to a dog. Of course whatever pets we have I am the one that is the main overseer of their care.  Once we have the dog, that’s all the pets my mind and pockets will be able to handle. It has been an adjustment with Tiki. One from managing allergies in the home, to understanding a cat’s care. I can say that it’s been a few weeks and we are starting to get used to Tiki’s love and presence. So if you have cat advice, its super welcomed.

For the month I have a few blog events I am going to. Working out to keep fit for these runs, and preparing for this snow storm expected to hit over the weekend!

I do hope you have a great weekend! I will be editing and brewing some blogs. I also plan to finish some book and magazine reading! If you’re in the East Coast about to experience this snow, get your gas, food and do a medicine check before tomorrow! Wishing you warmth, great snacks, and plenty of wine to get you through!!

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Sunday Message: Stop Fighting

When I was younger I didn’t get into a lot of fights but the ones that I did get into I definitely finished them. Fighting back in the day was a means of survival. I definitely wasn’t the one to start a physical fight but like my mom always taught me don’t write a check your behind can’t cash, so I made sure I protected myself and my twin.

As I got older I’ve gotten into more verbal altercations than physical. Contrary to most I can handle myself. Words can sometimes be more cutting than fights. Up until a few years ago I would go in on folks. My personality is strong. I’m usually quiet and reserved but is pushed or provoked I’m not the one to back down. I’ve learned that some fights aren’t even worth it. Some back and forth rob you of peace. The last big verbal altercation had me pacing back and forth, heated, and ready to escalate. I knew I could easily make it physical and after 30, unless my kids are in danger, what’s the point?!

So why do we engage in these types of fights? To prove ourselves right? Then what? What do I gain? Nothing. So now I try not to engage with people who I know I might lose my cool and over the last few years I’ve spent more time working on me. Working on my triggers so that if ever confronted again I’ll pass the test. Working on why the issues began. Some of it goes to my childhood and some unresolved issues that I didn’t speak on.

I was talking to a friend and she was telling me about some folks she rarely sees. On average she sees them maybe once a year. I understood that when with a yearly visit how irritating some people can be. She was putting into plan all the things she was going to say. I stopped her and reminded her that she needs to not focus on what to say to them but how to maintain her peace. She was more worked up on making her points to folks who could probably care less. I encouraged her to switch the plan. Instead of being in defense, lower her defense and just be cordial. If anything is brought up, deal with it and have an exit plan for herself. Of course she hit me with the but you don’t get it. Mind you I had been listening but the whole time she hasn’t realized all she is doing is giving life to someone she only interacts for a year. She was giving them the power of dictating her emotions about the issues instead of dealing with it.

She’s going into the situation with her arms up to jab instead of being protectant of herself. She’s ready to fight. She has no idea what has changed in a year. I’m not saying her feelings aren’t valid. They are. However you can’t let your feelings to take complete control. She has to interact with folks or remove herself completely. The middle would be cordial until they aren’t. There’s always a middle. In her situation for her to not interact at least on a case be case measure would be a domino effect to her main relationship. I could hear that she was getting it.

After she calmed down from thinking I wasn’t listening, she started crying. FYI she’s given me permission to share this story. She had been getting sick and doctors were finding nothing wrong with her. She allowed the stress of the people she had a bad interaction with to stress her for over a year. She doesn’t know what the other party was going through but she has allowed it to get so bad she was sick, losing weight, etc. I let her know that maybe it was time to figure out her part in it and hers alone. She had to deal with her. She had to either be willing to be on a hi and bye with them or remove herself from them altogether.

It was time to stop fighting. She was fighting alone. She was losing. She was losing horribly. I asked her was worth it to make whatever point if at the end of the day you are the one bearing the pain alone. When I asked why the argument started she said she didn’t remember. I reminded her she would always remember how she felt and it’s valid. However release the pain and it may mean walking away mentally and emotionally and dropping the charges. You will remember. It will sting at points. However she didn’t need to hold onto it. She wanted an apology. I asked her in order to open the door for one was she willing to sit down and speak to the other party to get it?! She said no.

We fight so many battles. Some battles it’s time to be about that life. Just because I see things differently doesn’t mean I wouldn’t ever turn up. It just means I take into consideration which situations it’s warranted. Anything that robs me of my peace is not worth it. She asked me how did I handle myself in the aftermath, and the answer is simply prayer, counseling; and space. I removed myself from the issues and got clarity. I’ve seen some of the others involved and nothing on the inside of me is mad or upset because instead of making them a focus, I focused on what I didn’t do right, how to be in control, and where I can improve. I switched the energy and dropped the charges. I let her know I will most likely never get an apology but I didn’t have to walk around in defeat.

I’m glad to say that she has begun counseling to help her though it!!!

Pick and choose your battles! Everything ain’t worth the headache. Sometimes situations happen to reveal things in you. Always look in instead of pointing the other way. Yes others can be wrong as two left shoes, but if you still are holding onto the he sting or the situation who loses? You. Listen to your conversation. What you are still dealing with will come out in your conversations. Out of your mouth runs the issues of the heart! If you still talk about it especially consistently, you may not be completely healed. If you’re not healed, you are walking in pain and that pain has more consequences for you than them.

Ask Toi: Personal Questions Part 2

So as promised here is part 2 of the personal questions that readers ask me #AskToi questions. Remember if you have questions about relationships, friendship, dating, work, and anything in between, send the email toitimeblog@gmail.com

How often do you argue with your husband?

Well I try not to bring people to in-depth of my marriage because it’s for he and I but I will say that these last couple of years it’s been dramatically less. So I would say maybe once every few months on serious issues and the dumb stuff that we just cut our eye at each other maybe daily. Life is short and we are mastering the art of communication. We are learning how to be partners and that is making sure we give each other what we both need and balance is key.

How often do you hang out with your friends?

I have one girl girlfriend that I make a monthly or semi monthly date with. A lot of my long-standing friends live in other states. It’s hard to link up. We have been getting better at communicating with one another and checking in. My local friends I do my best to meet up and do a lot of check ins.

What is something that ticks you off?

For me is inconsiderate people. I’ve evolved over the years. So anyone who does things just to be mean and inconsiderate whether that be with my time, energy, etc I will pull a Mariah Carey “I don’t know him/her” move. It’s disrespectful at this point in my almost 40s to give five more seconds to inconsiderate folks.

Have you ever wanted to be single since being married?

If asked a few years ago maybe in the early stages of my Marriage I would say yes. Now not at all. I am a relationship girl. I don’t do well and don’t respond well to causally dating, never have. I like to be connected and exclusive. Dating now when I talk to my friends who are single seems like so much work and filled with so many games that I don’t know if I am cut out in this world for it. So nope I’m keeping the energy in my marriage strong and keeping my ring on!! Not accepting any applications!

Would you have more kids?

Absolutely not! I love my babies. I do not want to have more kids. I made that decision on my own when I had my last daughter. I told the doctor when I found out give me the paperwork to get my tubes tied. I asked several times after I found out that she was healthy to let me see the tubes. After my hysterectomy that triple sealed the deal. I didn’t want kids with no man on this planet. That’s not a disrespect to my husband. He’s an amazing father, I just didn’t want to carry another child. I know people adopt and have surrogates and that is an amazing thing, it’s just not for me. I do not want anymore responsibility of a child in my active life.

How do you feel about sexless marriages?

This has to be a blanket question but in marriage the idea is to be with one person alone. So if there are issues I feel both parties should provide what they need. If one partner wants sex more and the other doesn’t, communicate and work a plan. It’s not okay for one of the partners to simply not try. Sex in marriage will not keep a man or woman but a sexless marriage makes it easier for one partner to want to get out of it. I don’t get when people say he or she should just deal with a sexless marriage. It’s not okay. That’s actually quite cruel. How often a married couple is determined by both partners. The lack thereof is also both partners responsibility to work through.

Have you ever cheated on your husband?

Nope! We ain’t perfect but we solid!

Will you do a conference or something to help women?

I have no plans to do so in 2019 but you never know. I would prefer to link up with someone first who knows what they are doing but I’m not against talking about it.

Have you ever given up on yourself?

Yes! Too many times. Beautiful thing about life is as long as you’re breathing it’s a great time to reset. I choose to reset myself and not give up. Reset I do daily when things are looking crazy and I’m in my feelings. I like to remind myself in reset what my goals are. So reset your mindset and don’t give up! Trust me usually in a few hours even if things are still out of whack my attitude doesn’t have to be!

Thank you again for the questions. There were some that were outright inappropriate and I didn’t answer them. I remain vigilant about my family. I am considering closer to my wedding anniversary to do a He said/she said segment so you can get a male answer on some of your questions!!! Have an awesome weekend!

Ask Toi: Personal Questions Answered Part 1

I have said before when doing these Ask Toi when it comes to personal questions I reserve the right to not answer questions that I feel are too personal in nature. I will answer what I can when I see fit.  So here we go:

What is the main reason for blogging?

I started my blog from when I got out of battling postpartum depression. This was after treatments, counseling, and medication. I needed to find a creative outlet. This happened to be one of the ones I chose.  I enjoy being creative and writing.  I have always wanted to write.  I want to be able to write a book too one day.

How did you feel becoming a first time mom?

It was scary. I didn’t feel as if I was financially or emotionally ready. I spent so much time in the beginning telling myself that I wasn’t going to be a good mom. However after some parenting classes I felt a lot more prepared. A lot of folks don’t know that with my first, I definitely took the time to prepare for my daughter. From parenting classes, to making sure she had what she needed. I did have 3 baby showers but I spent a lot of time gathering up baby items because my mom always taught me that having a baby it was going to be on me to get things ready and right for her arrival. I took Lamaze classes and did all I could to combat my fear.  After her arrival I felt disappointed because she was 6 weeks early. I felt like there was more I could have done to prevent her early arrival.

Have you ever gotten into physical fights with others?

Back in the day as a kid yes.  I have gotten into verbal altercations as an adult. I can’t remember the last adult fight I have had to have to be honest. That’s a good thing. Right now in the stage of my life the only way I am getting into a physical fight is for the protection of myself or my children. Outside of that, that extra agitated part of my life is pretty much over.  My parents had me in church for most of my life however my parents also taught me street smarts and survival skills. A lot of folks would be surprised to know that they definitely made sure I was ready for the world.  They did very little sugar-coating in my house.

Have you ever had second thoughts when you were about to get married?

Yes. I did the days leading up to my marriage. It was more of cold feet. I will say that any thoughts that I had I explored them. Instead of saying they were cold feet, I gave great consideration about if I wanted to be married for marriage sake or because it was the right thing to do.  I came to the conclusion that I really loved my soon to be husband and wanted to marry him and so I did. However that first year of marriage and adding that I was still being treated for postpartum and I didn’t fully understand it.  The only thing I wished I had done was delayed the wedding until after my treatment was completed. This way I could have entered my first year on a better wave length. That first year of marriage made me feel the most alone and it had nothing to do with my husband.  I would encourage others before getting married to be sure that you know what you can about yourself.

How strict are you as parents?

We are strict to the point there is a lot of things that my kids can’t do as far as sleepovers, or cell phones (for now) or just going to other folks home without us. I feel as if I need to watch them. If you ask my parents they would say I let my kids do whatever they want. I do balance some old school with new, but I do let a few more new ways of parenting like allowing my kids to express their feelings, or letting them have their own opinions that we weren’t allowed to do as kids. So far it works for our home, we haven’t had a lot of talking back or disrespectful issues. Our kids are generally good. So if its protection reasons we are going to say no. However we are open as much as we think is appropriate to discuss things as a teaching moment.

Would you quit working to blog?

Absolutely. My goal is to be able to blog full-time. There is a difference in working and quitting just to blog when there is no income stream or making my blog my income stream and doing it full time. I want to do the latter. So when the opportunity ever presents itself the answer will be super easy.

Why don’t I ever just become a celebrity blogger?

One I don’t feel as if i am in the arena to blog on celebrities. I only currently blog if its something that can be a lesson to us. So the few blogs I have done have been on highlights that appear that have nuggets that I believe are take aways.

Do you believe in sex before marriage?

I do if it’s with consenting adults. I believe that you should under the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of sex outside of marriage. It can be binding to be honest. This is why people stay in bad relationships because of good sex. So yes I was a virgin with my husband when he was my boyfriend. I made a decision to be with him. I made a decision with any sexual partner I have had. Nothing just happens. Nothing is a mistake. I learned a lot about myself through choices. I believe sex is a decision that you should think about before getting hot and heavy with a person.

Do you like to work with other bloggers?

Yes I have and I do. I’ve had some amazing collaborations with some amazing blogging friends. I hope to do more in the future.

How does your husband feel about your blogging?

I get this question often. He’s fine with it. He supports me and what I do. There is never a time, when he doesn’t have my back. He supports it even when blogs are about him. It’s a form of expression and 💯 we always talk about whatever issues so by the time I blog them if I blog then it’s already over and worked on and through.

So this is part 1 the questions that were way harder to answer will be in part 2 for Friday, January 11, 2019!!!

 

 

Surviving R. Kelly; My Thoughts

Let’s cut to the chase on this. There is so much to unravel! These are my thoughts:

R. Kelly is a sick. He really is. There is zero doubt about that. No excuses!! No bull. It is what it is. He was molested himself as a child and that’s so super unfortunate. However he then inflicted pain on others. He doesn’t get to get a pass for his sexual misconduct that had been brewing for years. There comes a point when you even in your pain still have to take responsibility for your actions.

Aaliyah

First of all my heart goes out to her. She is a victim. There are a lot of boys let alone men with money and influence that manipulate girls and women all the time. It’s wrong. So it’s not far fetched that she too was manipulated. My anger resides with R. Kelly being an adult. He knew better. I’ve heard theories that he was sick in the mind due to his own abuse endured but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t aware of what he was doing was wrong. The mere cover up of her age means he knew better from a legal standpoint.

My second place of anger is with Aaliyah’s parents. I’ve read the statement about them stating that they were with her and that at no time had she been alone with R. Kelly! However they weren’t there when she got married. The documents were forged and I get that. What I’m saying is there had to be a financial gain for them to allow their daughter to have this “best friend” in R Kelly who was grown. My child is monitored on friends her age let alone my husband would lose his mind if he found out there was a grown man who was her best friend hanging around her. What in the actual world could you have in common with a child?

I hope every parent put yourself in the place of Aaliyah and the other parents of children who were assaulted that you take a firm against such behaviors. I pray that you don’t have to be known as someone didn’t have your children’s best interest at heart!

The ideal that Aaliyah was wise beyond her years or that she was fast or that she was pretty much the reason why she was groomed towards this is completely out of pocket. Aaliyah was a child and her parents failed her and R. Kelly was WRONG!!!!!!!! He was and is disgusting and it’s disgraceful!!

I get you don’t want to speak ill of the dead so since she’s not here it would be in their best interest to rely on a Non disclosures or that $100 they or she was given for her silence. It doesn’t change the marriage being done. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again he married her to sleep with her without others having a legal issue. Anything done that is based on a lie wouldn’t last. Yes it was annulled. I do understand that but what type of relationship could I have with a man who took my daughter to marry her and hence sleep with her even if I wanted to maintain that I was a loving and doting mother?! Even if I wanted to distance myself and make myself be a victim I would want to protect her and therefore would not cover for him. I would be attempting until his dying day to end him. I pray I never allow my daughters to be compromised and I pray that my daughters never feel the need to be tempted to succumb to anything in any realm such as this!!

Family Ain’t……

His family and friends who knew and now are speaking up about this all should be locked up. They all NOW claim how horrible they feel. They feel so bad but did the checks dry up? When benefits did you receive that would okay seeing girls that could very well be the same age of kids you should have been protecting. All of them don’t get how self incriminating it is for them to place themselves in these circles with him and want to push blame on him alone not seeing how complacent they are and were and how they too have a large responsibility to the victims of whom they thought very little of. All of the adults that knew and can recall such details failed each child they came in contact with and knew of R. Kelly’s mess as it unfolded!

Multiple Tapes

We know about the infamous tape where R. Kelly and I’ll use the legal “allegedly” filmed himself doing down right things to this child but the parts that stuck out to me are as follows:

The back up singer knew and saw him “allegedly” sleep with Aaliyah at age 15 but is crying and upset about him in the tape with Sparkle’s niece who was 14. My question is does she feel this pain now or was she feeling that at the time?! I really want to know because I catch you in the act once I wouldn’t be shocked seeing it again. I would be mad but not shocked!

Separate the man from the artist

R. Kelly had been known to tape his encounters, there are more than the infamous tape out! I’m sure there were more than just the children they were discussed on this series. This is why I don’t get why people don’t believe that he really is the man he is being painted to be. The ideal that you can separate the man from the artist….

How can we separate this musical genius from the fact that he literally has a network of enablers that literally helped him to abuse kids. Like are these people void of care? The ones that have kids scare me the most. Like watching this has reaffirmed my ability to make sure that I don’t allow my kids to be groomed like this. Despite the fact that he was so influential, others like him are in our very own communities. They say the things that young people want to hear. They scare them into silence. They abuse them into fear. It’s scary. I’ve been teaching my kids good and bad touch since before they could barely talk. The thought that I could know my children were sexually abused but sit with the abuser of my kids for any reason is overwhelming.

Am I supposed to be like well it ain’t my kids, let’s step in the name of love?! That’s basically what it sounds like. Let’s just keep the party going cause it’s unfortunate that kids that don’t belong to me went through horrible things but it ain’t my issue. If I read a story online I get moved. Kids should be off limits. Kids should be protected and I for one stopped listening to him and stopping the playing of his music around my family. My choice but to keep money flowing into R. Kelly’s pockets as he continues to “allegedly” imprison and groom women (who knows if they are underage or not) would be misguided for me as a woman! What am I doing at a concert as he parades knowing he likes young girls?! Aaliyah was not fluke. Aaliyah wasn’t this special child that he just bonded with. She on her own outside of him was phenomenal but the relationship of Aaliyah wasn’t isolated. R. Kelly doesn’t see anything wrong with having sex with children.

There are way too similar allegations for me to pull a Stevie Wonder. If there is smoke there is fire. I personally am disgusted by the whole documentary thus far.

R. Kelly is like the predator that you know but people tell you he’s not as bad as he seems. It’s like a group of people with evidence of abuse and documentation of abuse but we have to support him and for what? Music. As iconic as his music has been, he is equally flawed. He is problematic. He is an abuser. He is a manipulator. It’s disgusting!

I think the more you know you bear the responsibility of walking in life better. Having R. Kelly the musician’s craft block out years of abuse toward women as a woman myself and definitely as a mom isn’t a price I’m willing to pay. The fact that most of the forgiving fans have been women worries me. Do women lie about such things? Yes. Is everyone telling the same lie? I highly doubt it and I believe them. Not everyone is telling the same lie. Some of these women have been attempting to speak up way before Lifetime produced this series.

So there is a lot to unload. These are my raw feelings. This is how I feel. It’s hurtful as a woman to watch this. It’s almost triggering. It was difficult and is difficult to watch. It’s hard and I made triple certain that none one of my kids were up as I watched this. Although I talk to them for their age to prevent as much as I can with the help of God no way would I allow them to hear that a grown man made kids do the things that R. Kelly is being accused of. I’m grown and it was hard to hear that some of the very beloved songs actually meant more than we imagined. It’s hard! As more men are being held accountable, I pray that even if R. Kelly feels or felt like he is getting away that karma steps up and does her thing.

I hope you make your own decisions if you have an opportunity to catch the series. My opinion is not to make you believe what I believe. Personal choices on whether or not to support R. Kelly, is just that, personal.

There are countless women and men to be honest watching this and having this all hit is a lot! A lot of the stories we knew about. R Kelly has been accused since I can remember. He has been known to mess with young girls. But seeing the lengths that not only he took to cover it is jaw dropping. To see the network unfold in how he would have his own wife in the house suffering abuse while still continuing his life is crazy.

Here is a clip from the Boondocks that pretty much had it right (I do not own rights to this episode; trigger for strong offensive language):

R Kelly Boondocks Trial

To victims of abuse especially sexual abuse who have never told their story and need support, or even the ones who find themselves triggered:

Ask Toi: A man I’ve been dating for months has gone stale in communication, what should I do?

This sounds like he’s ghosting you. Ghosting is when someone you’re dating or dealing with no longer answers calls or text messages and is unavailable.

First of all, understand that some folks avoid difficult conversations. He is definitely not interested or has more on his plate and is unable to or doesn’t want to add you into the equation. There could be a thousand reasons why. It’s not your job to figure him out. Your job is to not take on his lack of communication as means of figuring out your worthiness of being in a relationship that meets your needs.

I can share that I’ve been ghosted in the past. However when I went back and thought about the surrounding signs that I paid no attention to it made sense. I had been ghosted by someone who didn’t have his stuff together. He didn’t have a place of his own. He was almost nomadic or basically going from one spot to another. So I didn’t fit the bill of fostering that situationship and was ghosted. It was cool while it lasted. I spent more time than I should have worrying about what I could have done for someone who wasn’t worthy of the amount of energy I gave. Don’t be Toi in her 20s. Be smarter than I was. Know your worth and add tax. Dating was hard in my 20s and it’s harder now!

This man may never reveal his why. You may have to gather yourself and move along. It’s hard! It sounds easier said than done but it’s definitely necessary. Chalk it up to dating in this world with inconsistent players.

Going forward pay attention to the signs. When something sounds off, acts off, or behaves off, it could very well be off. You would be better off without the headache.

If it’s that he isn’t being as consistent as he once was in terms of communication, Ask. It could be that he does have a legitimate reason. But don’t be fooled into I was bust explanation. Busy people still prioritize their wants.

Good luck!

Meet India Green of Naturally Indy; Urban Glow Cosmetics

I had the elite pleasure of meeting this super star of self-care and natural care guru when my oldest had her pining ceremony for Girl Scouts. Her poise and beauty intrigued me and I knew I had to bring her to my ToiTime followers.  Urban Glow Cosmetics is a unisex handmade natural skin care to enhance that natural glow. So what does a college student, a budding entrepreneur, and altogether natural beauty have to teach us?

Let’s meet CEO and founder of Urban Glow Cosmetics, India and find out……

I wanted to know what made this Junior college student majoring in Media Studies and Production Major with a certificate in Event Leadership and entrepreneur want to make her start? Why natural care products?

I have always had a passion for natural products, since I went completely natural in regards to my hair. The more I learned about my hair’s health, I realized that your hair is a reflection of your overall health and using chemically based skin care has no benefits to your skin, hair or body! I want my hair and skin to reflect my lifestyle and I saw a hole in the market and decided that I would fill it. As many “natural” skincare companies as you may see, believe it or not some contain unnatural ingredients or are just too expensive. Urban Glow Cosmetics targets college students especially with our affordable products and are easily accessible. Outside of college campuses, we aim to restore self-care practices in the lives of both women and men. 

When I was in college especially one that didn’t cater to the needs of African-American students, the only real stores were on campus or our local Wal-mart.  Often times the disconnect on what we needed and what was available was slim pickings. I would find that often times as a student back in the early 2000 before I realized anything about natural hair care or skin products, students would just wait for a break or find a student on campus that would be kitchen chemists or hair dressers. I am glad that India realizes the market here for Temple students and beyond.

india-fresh-face.jpg

I know with anything in life nothing comes easy.  I wanted to know one of the lessons that she has learned along the way trying to bridge this gap.

Patience is truly a virtue! There were times when I felt that I was moving too slow compared to others and their businesses and that caused me to fail on my first ever batch of masks. I rushed and didn’t use all the ingredients I knew I should have caused them all to mold over before I could even began selling. That taught me to not compare myself to others, but to use others’ success to motivate me! I learned to trust my own process. 

That’s a word. I know we all can take a lesson out of India’s book and apply that lesson across the board. Comparing yourself to someone else will always make you feel less adequate. Run your own race. Take pride in what you do. It will all come together in time. Easier to say and so much harder to do. So trust the process and keep the course.

I am still VERY new at business owning so I am still tackling my time management! Since I am the president of Campus Curlz Temple University chapter, an active member of the AmeriCorps Next Steps national  volunteering organization, and I work it has been difficult. I schedule days where I do specific tasks only and it definitely takes discipline. I have days scheduled where I only work on Urban Glow orders and other days where I only do Campus Curlz related work, volunteer, and so on. There have been plenty of times when I have been overwhelmed, but I know I have to just get better with discipline. I love all that I do, so I know I will make it work for me. My friends and family are very supportive of what I do so I can still bond with them while working on my brand. 

Having support as you complete  your goals is important. India’s schedule of being a student and a business owner seems overwhelming but what I do know is that when you are determined you can make anything work. So what’s stopping you?  Only you know the answers. Even in temporary failure as India had with her first set of masks, her ability to refocus instead of giving up is key.

Nothing worth having is going to just fall in your lap. Even if the idea does, it takes work to maintain. So I wanted to know from India, what sacrifices she has experienced this far in her own journey?

I have had to sacrifice a lot since launching Urban Glow Cosmetics, but one major sacrifice I’ve made thus far would be my “free time”. I have sat out on family events, social events, sleep, etc. just to make sure I am doing what is needed for Urban Glow Cosmetics. I used to feel upset about it, but the more time I spend working on my craft the less it feel like a sacrifice for me. 

 Could you make this type of sacrifice for your dream? Think about it. If you had to miss out on some events, or time with your family members, could you? I know I could and have in the past. Sometimes we have to let those around us know that we love them but this comes first. 

Everyone who reads ToiTime knows at this point how much I am a champion of self-care. It’s important to take time out for yourself while you serve or even times before you can serve someone else. With that in mind I wanted to know how does self-care coincide with Urban Glow Cosmetics?

Self-care is the basis of my business! Self-care is a term people think they know, but it consists of so much more! Urban Glow Cosmetics serves as the physical part of self-care, but I want to expand this and give people the opportunity to reclaim the word, understand what it means, and have them incorporate it into their everyday lifestyle naturally. 

As we are only a mere days into the New Year, what was the one thing that you felt you missed in 2018?

If i’m understanding the question correctly, one thing I feel like I missed out on was promoting myself at events. I was offered a spot at multiple vending events and I didn’t have confidence in myself at the time and I passed up those opportunities. 

We all have been there before. There is a time to say no. No when you feel like you are being pressed in the wrong direction. No when you feel like you are being used. However no can backfire. Thinking you haven’t done enough to be invited to the table can be just as damaging as being pressed too thin. If you are being brought to the table and its nothing that takes away from you in any way, consider your No to a Yes. You are just as worthy. IF you find that those at the table seem more polished, use it as a way to fine tune your skills sets. Ask questions of those seasoned. As a blogger I have had many times when I didn’t even attend. I was like I need more years under me. However after striking away fear, I found that I had just as much to offer as my fellow bloggers when attending. India get to the table, and smile with pride-you got it!

What does the future look for India and Urban Glow Cosmetics?

My plans and goals for Urban Glow Cosmetics is to develop into more than just a natural skin care company. I want to have several events, conferences, and retreats focusing on self-care, self-love, and the empowerment of women. My brand “Naturally Indy” will expand globally, so not only will I provide physical products but self-care goes deeper than the physical and I want to help women on their journeys mentally, emotionally, and physically through my events, conferences, retreats, etc. My ultimate end goal that will combine my field of study (Media Studies and Production) and my passion projects will be have my own TV Show that talks about numerous topics to help and motivate women. 

Girl you better say that! Speak it and work towards it, I know that this is just the beginning.

What is your message for women? For the Community? For Yourself?

“ It is okay to be selfish with you. It is important to take care of you. Be sure that you’re on the top of the list of people who you care for and take care of. “

To Myself: “ Stop waiting to turn into some perfect version of yourself and start enjoying being who you are in the present. Everything else will align.”

To my Community: “ Help each other! There are so many ways  to help your people, your friends, and your family. Do your part because support goes a long way!” 

india products

Men natural care products are for you too. Trust me skin of all kind can benefit from natural skin care products and is necessary for all. Also ladies, makeup can be that much more flawless when the skin underneath is just as “beat” without it. In 2019, do yourself a favor and treat your skin just as well as you do with the products that you put on top of it. With that in mind here’s how you can bring these affordable products to your home.  Also watch out for more, 2019 new products are dropping. Don’t miss out:

Urban Glow Cosmetics

If you will be in Philadelphia Pa area on February 2, 2019 join India and fellow other entrepreneurs at the Boss Babe Link Up. This event is a ticket paid event and will include food and a chance to be around other goal oriented women. You can find the information below:

Boss Babe Link Up

boss babe

And for those who claim they are too busy for self-care, lets end that talk in 2019. There are a thousand ways you can self-care.  For my busy on the go college students, moms, women and men who are always on the go get ahold of the masks as they are “to-go” sized and travel friendly. That means there is no reason you can’t afford them this year or grab and go either! Go and grab it and let’s flood this entrepreneur with love with our support as well as we can support her with our dollars too!

Follow India at her social media handles below:

Instagram

Campuscurlz Temple University