Fall Clothing Reboot

I have been guilty of dressing less than my best.  Either from pure laziness or not being inspired it has happened. As fall comes along layering will be key and for me going into my Pintrest and transitioning my outfits will be my number one go to. You can take a few of your Summer pieces and layer them up to make some cute finds for any occasions.  You can go from hayride to a Fall brunch with just a little effort. I laugh every time I go out with my one girlfriend, I am always on Pintrest finding an outfit for the occasion and because she’s my boo I want to be too cute for our Instagram pics!

I would love to be drippin in finesse when it comes to money but sadly the way my bank account is set up, I’ll have to settle for reshifting my outfits.  What that means is shopping my own closet.  I have so many pieces every season that I simply forget I even have.  For that reason I plan to reshift my closets and break out my boots.  Yes boot season is upon us and I have some that I bought and was excited for that the second I bring them out nobody will say they can remember seeing me in.  Pretty sad but blessed thing to be able to say.

So armed with my Pintrest, I will be reinventing a few pieces.  A few things are a must have such as scarves to dress up or dress down any outfit.  Scarves worn around the neck especially a cute bulky oversized infinity scarf is a Fall staple.  You can really make an outfit pop with a scarf.  I would say if you have a scarf you can take an outfit from blah to wow.  Warm boot socks is a great thing to have because you can pop a color and have that boot sock appear above your low-cut boot or even just have to help with layering.  Remember Fall is all cute and games until the temperature dips and its cold.  So grab a few.  You can go to places such as Five Below, a department store, or even my favorite spot, Target for some awesome finds.  Remember your wardrobe doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive.

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Invest in a few statement pieces and cute sweaters.  This will be a game changer.  Fall is all about sweaters or cute hoodies.  A few weeks ago it rained so hard that I had to go and get my Penn State hoodie that I bought in the Summer.  I wasn’t mad.  I paired that up with a cute rain boot and some well fitted jeans and cute headband and left the house warm and cute without a lot of effort.  I also would suggest 2nd hand stores.  These are your Thrift stores.  When I was a kid I used to hate it.  My parents were so into Thrift stores they had frequent shopper cards.  I never understood how the clothes were cheap but we needed a frequent shopper card.  I would always find cute pieces but I was so embarrassed.  Now I get it.  Shout out to them for showing me the way.  I know for a fact that a lot of fashions that are out now have been recycled and what better place to look cute and save money than a Thrift shop?  I’ll wait……

Take the time to put a little extra push in your wardrobe.  You do not want to be out this Fall looking less than your best.  I always would get frustrated askign myself in old pictures how I could have come out of the house and although I am no fashion expert I know a few tricks of the trade by looking up the look I am going for and if you too want to look your best, I would suggest you do the same!

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Wonky Feelings

Unfortunately these last few days have been a bit up and down.  For one on a personal level there is so much on my heart and mind.  I am sorting a few things out.  I noticed that as I work my life out that my shift towards gratitude has shifted.  I’ll get back to that later.  Also Fall is around the corner and although I am super happy about it, its only a reminder that there is so much to do before the year ends.

Also on Friday it was the most craziest day ever. I got out the car not put together. My bag was open. I had 20 minutes to get to work for a 2 min walk and still…..

I get to Dunkin Donuts to get a breakfast sandwich and I can’t find my wallet. I finally pay for my item and I bumped into a lady like 3 times. I’m walking into the door trying to gather my thoughts….what is going on?

As if matters couldn’t get worse, I take a walk at lunch only to discover that one side of my skirt is falling revealing a lot more than I needed to share with the world! I had to take a step back and again gather my thoughts….

Check in On your Strong Friend

I have an amazing network of friends from all walks of life.  Talking to one of them this week about how the weather didn’t help my bottom line and realizing that she too felt the same way.  Let me interject gratitude, I do not have it as bad as those in the path of Hurricane Florence, I am grateful.  In the midst of gratefulness I want to be transparent.  I miss the mark daily but I am also actively checking myself daily. Sometimes I get inspired by my ability to balance and then on days where that balance seems not to measure up, my feelings sometimes takes a nose dive.  This has been that week.  I have been pushed and finding that I am coming off as irresponsible when in actuality I am in the midst of change from the inside out.  Guilt of these changes has made me question myself.  My girlfriend reminded me that one she is here and we are here together.  I love knowing I have support and need to be more open in receiving the love in return.  So word of advice, fill your cup and be open to check on a friend to see how their cup looks too!  I am going to do better at that.

Feeling Overload

Daily I take a look at what is going on around me.  I looked at my kids and noticed they needed me to listen a little more.  I feel as if I am pretty good at anticipating other people’s needs.  However with my own, I need a little work.  Example, Thursday night I was getting agitated by a conversation with my husband.  I felt like I wasn’t being heard.  I decided to be quiet and ask myself a few questions. I asked what did I need at that moment.  I decided that my issues of frustration is because of old feelings of what my husband had done that I wasn’t over.  I simply wasn’t mad at him but mad at me for not dropping something from years ago.  I went upstairs and decided how worth it was it at that moment and dropped it.  I washed my face while praying and asked God to heal.  I decided that carrying frustration was simply only on me and that it only hinders me.  It wasn’t as if the issue was something that was life changing. I simply was mad and that madness needed checked.  I can’t grow personally and not drop the charges but expect charges of frustration or anger to be dropped on my behalf.  I have to give what I want to receive.

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Gratitude

Being thankful has been this week’s recurring theme.  All week I have challenged myself to see the good in bad situations.  All week openly saying what I am grateful for around my family.  Letting my kids openly know how awesome they are.  Recognizing their effort!  I have been in conversation replacing complaints with gratitude.  Counting my blessings this week.  Every situation that could have made me turn left, I declared gratitude and seen it turn.  Every single one.  Even with my wacky feelings this week, I have felt like I figured out what I needed and gave myself permission to seek it and receive it.

This weekend I will take a long bath, get some flowers, burn my favorite candle, get some rest, and have fun with my kids.  These are the things that I will do to set my weekend right and continue my self-care practice.  What do you need?  What are the little things that can set your spirit back into alignment?  What are the things that make you feel the most centered?  What will quiet and heal your thoughts?  Do these things and more and do it so often that it becomes a part of who you are!

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Maybe your week was great.  If so that’s super awesome.  If your week was like mine with super highs and lows, know that you can get through it.  You can replace gratitude in the places of frustration.  You can call on a friend or family and be encouraged.  It’s okay to be upset but don’t stay there.  It’s important to find out what you need and most importantly remember that the answer or relief may come from you.  You have to be honest about what you need.  Be honest about what the real issues.  Don’t place the saving grace into someone else’s hands.  Sometimes just dealing and checking yourself is all you need to make yourself whole.

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for reading!

Sunday Message: Living your Best Life

I’ve been waiting to right this one for quite some time! The phrase is everywhere. To be honest it’s a good thing to live your best life! Who wants to live the opposite?! However beyond quotes and knowing your angles on Instagram if you’re gonna live it then do the work that it requires.

Living your best life is best when you start from the inside out. It requires you to leave a few negative folks behind, own your stuff, and be authentic to you. Sound easy but not exactly?! You will find resistance along the way. This is when it’s easier to fake it than to really live in authentic truth! The second you go to live your best life it may cause a ripple effect with those around you! Be prepared!

More than Instagram Angles

Who doesn’t love a good picture on social media?! I know I do and you do too! However don’t forget that every picture has a story. I sometimes go back to my pics and think back on what was really going on?! Was I just really good?! What happened before and after the pic! For instance here’s a pic from my solo trip:

I looked great, felt great and had a good amount of adult drinks. I was in my zone and it was an amazing time. What wasn’t shown was that there was so much work going on. I was in the midst of leaving my job and taking a leap of faith. I actually had secured the bag while there. However dancing between do I leave and start from scratch and how that would affect my family was on my mind. I’m happy to say that leap was super scary and it paid off! However fear and letting go was on the other side of living my best life. Being used to certain behaviors and being completely unsure of myself was on one side and complete freedom, better pay and a better opportunity was on the other side. I could have stayed and made a few waves at my past job but when you don’t move and sometimes take initial fear you could hinder your own blessing. Scared I still leaped! Shout out to those who know that where I am now is a complete reflection of grace! It is not of anything of myself!

What does living my best life do for you as a person?!

It makes you grateful! Plain and simple! You know how many times a door shut. How many times you were alone?! How many times you had to shut down the naysayer in your own head but you still had to push?! It makes you stronger as you get to the next fight! It gives you a confidence to gas yourself!! It reminds you that you can do anything! It doesn’t erase the pain but it almost suggests that the pain was worth it! So it’s okay to acknowledge it!

Fear sometimes drops off

As I kept going on even in fear it eventually dropped off. I never get to a point in my life as if things are just so Gucci. Nope! I walk-in humbleness. I walk like I know where I am going even when it feels like I’m working with a broken GPS! Fear has many of time walked with me until it fell off like a child learning to ride with no brakes! During many moments of my life it’s been like that! However my biggest motivator is myself and next is the little folks that call me mom! I let them know when I make a mistake I use it when I parent. When they can’t get along I openly let them know of the same moments I’ve had. I also want them to know they can keep going!

So while you say you want to live your best life be prepared for the work that comes along with it. Accept your flaws but don’t simply just say this is me oh well, take what is said and done to you and make the necessary changes! This requires a gut punch here and there! I used to say oh well to what folks said but everyone ain’t telling the same lie! Own it and change it! Also stop living your life with the brakes! The more I get out, the more I attack the list of wants without excuses the more doors open! Step through them!! It’s okay to be okay and enjoy this life! You don’t have to be downtrodden all the time. Life will give enough of those moments so that you don’t have to create them! Learn to enjoy moments. Smile a little! Enjoy a treat and have a little balance! Get out and explore! Live your best life!

The Complainer

Let me just say and acknowledge that I used to be the one that got on everyone’s nerves with complaining.  I mean as much as I blamed everyone else for the inability to deal with it, the truth of the matter I was the Debbie Downer that no one wanted to be around.  I used to sit around and say well if “they” can’t deal with me that’s on them, this is who I am.  Sound familiar?  You can’t blame folks for no longer wanting to be in your space when your space is dampened by negative vibes and foolery. It’s like hey, you don’t ever have a good day? What does it take for you to smile? Is your life hanging in the balance, no?  Are you ever going to be okay? I can only imagine the things my own husband thought even if he never said it. I get it when I hear others do it because I hear my old responses.

So fast forward to these last few years, I have one, gut bunched myself.  I checked me.  My mom always taught me everyone ain’t telling the same lie.  They may variations but when you hear the same exact thing, there’s truth in that story.  So instead of dragging those around me with misery I checked myself and quick. I one went to counseling to deal with those underlying issues we think is dormant until they aren’t.  Secondly I looked at life from a different perspective.  There are a thousand and one things that can go wrong in your life, but my responses was the only thing that mattered.  So the blame game stopped. I took stock even in the worst of an argument, I took stock.  What did I do?  How could I change me instead of having a laundry list of the things the other person could have done?  For the record this is years of change, not last week.

I got happy or should I say I found real joy in life.  How can I be the best mother and wife if I am consistently draining those in my own home first?  A good gut check will align you in the way you should go.  So now it’s humbling and annoying at the same time when I hear people complain.  I get real quiet and begin to make space.  I can’t entertain those negative people.  In the last few months I have had one friend that I have hung around that has even challenged my interactions with friends.  I can’t do the friends that have a negative response to the most mundane thing.  For instance I sent a friend a card, they were like why did you send it to me.  I had already made it personal with lovely encouraging words, etc but instead of just reading it, they got it, didn’t open it and was like why this and why that.  I immediately took a mental note.  Listen, my friend I’ll call her K has shown me that friendships should be light.  You should be able to send messages back and forth and enjoy the company.  You should be generally happy instead of the “I wonder what issue this person will bring,” type of relationship.

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So I want to first thank my husband who brought up my negative talk to me.  Our mates know us.  When your mate says your annoying, a complainer, a nagger, you can be mad all you want the truth is in the message, learn to receive it.  I took the message and instead of getting mad, and complained some more I got it together.  There is more laughter in our home than disagreements.  Even disagreements don’t last that long. Trust me even I am have taken notice to it.  Also there is a lightness that makes things flow better even in the most difficult situations we have faced.  People think that trouble doesn’t come to us but that’s the furthest from the truth, we are just handling it better. Secondly I want to think K who has been so refreshing and not just K but a lot of my friends I wasn’t able to receive real love back and forth the way I needed to because of my own hindrances.  I feel like my relationships have gotten better for those who are on the same wave length and the others need work.  Some of that work may be from me and some from the other side as well.  We shall see.

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The time you spend complaining and living in a complaining state takes too much time off of your life.  I think to be honest is where I started doing the daily days that I post on my personal Facebook page.  There is something to be grateful for, something to celebrate, something to be better for.  Learn to tap into that.  I now have to be sure my kids don’t take on any of negative behaviors. I make sure to call it out and show them rather than tell them what gratefulness looks like.  I think our home has been in a better place.  As a wife and mom it’s up to me to set a tone as a covering over negativity in it. I hope that my own blunders will help a person to be the best version of themselves.  I know that negativity is a learned behavior and you are ultimately responsible for what comes out of your mouth.  People do NOT want to be in your presence when you are a cess pool of complaining.  Life and death are in the tongue and even the death of the closeness a relationship can be is in your tongue.  FYI just because someone has been around you for so long, is not a good enough reason to continue in your ways.

Let me leave you with 5 examples and if you meet these 5; do some inside work:

Example #1:

You get a text, do you just go with the flow or question why a message was sent without checking the message first? (reading is fundamental, question what needs questioned but you don’t have to question the sender on every thing it could be just informational)

Example #2:

You get invited to a dinner, instead of going with the flow you make comments on restaurant selection, talk about yourself the whole time, etc (PS you could have stayed home and not come)

Example #3

You are in a group text, you make the church announcement that you don’t do group text and that you are tired of being in them but you get mad when you are no longer invited to the next group text or no longer privy to the information in it (you could have muted the conversation to check back later)

Example 4

You get a gift with no card, your first response is “no card” instead of saying thank you and then the next response is “why would you come with no card” (the card could have gotten lost in transit, or the gift may have not needed one)

Example 5

You are getting a group gift and instead of stating how much you wanted from others, you offer to them for them to give what they can.  Your friend gives 10 your response is “I seen how you been spending lately, this is all you have? (you can’t clock other folks money and what they should or shouldn’t be doing with it)

 

These types of responses over time will not get you invited to the next function.  You can’t get mad when you are constantly left out after the continual rude, insensitive, negative vibes are being given.  FYI outside of the gift one I have used these responses in the past in one shape or form.  This way no one will get in their feelings of you used what I did or said.  However if the shoe fits, please wear them and adjust.  No one and I repeat NO ONE has time for any of the above mess.  No one wants to be drained of negative space when around you.

Be better not to save a relationship but because deep down even you get sick of you.   Continue reading The Complainer

Monday Motivation

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I had a good weekend if you haven’t read up on my run, you should. But today I rode the train thinking of what I wanted to accomplish this week.  Some general themes of self-care came up as well as making work deadlines, but then I thought about ways I could be specific and get my intentions across.  I broke out my journal and began to write my goals down. I wanted to be clear as I started this Monday of my intentions.  So I encourage you to do the same.  Be clear on what you want to get accomplished this week.  Also write down how you plan to get done what you need to get done this week. Don’t just let the week happen.  Don’t let Monday come and you simply exist.  Be apart of your own story and stop allowing things to happen to you.  Yes, life is hard and comes with unexpected issues we can’t avoid, but there are a lot of things we can control and sometimes we just simply look at things as they hit. Be active in your goals, your life, and the lives of those around you.  Have a good week and a good day on purpose by starting your days with purpose.

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!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solo Trip: Phoenix, Arizona

So I just had the BEST time ever for a few days in Arizona. Solo trips can be unnerving but they are definitely worth it.

The reason for a solo trip is simple, I can do what I want and for how much of it that I want. Who doesn’t like to get away?! I have been trying to make a trip around my bday become a yearly adventure but with mine and the kids’ schedules around my birthday a trip wouldn’t have been feasible soI had to pump it up a little. I refused to not take a trip just because it wasn’t during my birthday week.

My goal while on this trip was to relax, enjoy, and to step out of my comfort zone.

So with this thought in mind I decided to book. What I did was looked for flights first and then booked the trip around the best price instead of trying to find a flight around a particular date. I didn’t mess around when I found a flight that worked. I also set a tracker to see if the flight stayed grounded price wise. Once I found the price of the tickets to be within my budget I booked it. I then worked on hotel accommodations after the fact. There are a lot of deals out there so I focused on the amenities that meant the most to me. I felt like I had a lot of wiggle room since my family wasn’t attending this trip!

I picked Arizona because for quite some time I wanted to travel to this location. The other reason is the weather. I love heat. So I wanted somewhere that I felt I could get it and Arizona definitely didn’t disappoint. The weather was over 90 each day. And I was able to do a lot of activities, rest, and eat well.

So let’s break this trip down:

I arrived in Phoenix on Friday. My travel started very early. With that I was up at 230am and once I landed due to the time zone change, morning started all over again. I was extremely jet lagged. However once I checked into my hotel, a burst of energy and excitement came over me.

I stayed at the Grand Canyon University Hotel. It’s located in Phoenix and its through the college campus and ran by students. This hotel is super nice and super clean.

Now let me give you the pros and cons of this hotel.

The pros:

  1. Campus atmosphere
  2. Restaurant and bar was great
  3. Pool and cabanas
  4. Easy going staff
  5. Baristas are super bomb almost better than Starbucks
  6. Security is tight. They had an armed guard not a flashlight cop throughout the premises

Cons:

  1. No usb cord plug ins
  2. No microwave or fridge
  3. No safe in room to secure belongings

So as you can see the pros outweighed the cons. Not having a fridge wasn’t a huge issue. It stopped me from getting more food than I needed which in the long run was a good look anyway.

Few things if you are traveling alone:

  1. Do not be afraid to eat out. I enjoyed it and didn’t stay on my phone to take the edge off of me being alone
  2. Keep both hotel keys on you at all times
  3. Never reveal that you are alone while out and about
  4. Do a tour of the hotel so you know where everything is
  5. Be vigilant while out aka stay off your phones so your guard isn’t down
  6. Social media- do NOT check in while away. I used Snapchat and Instagram stories the whole time and made sure I didn’t reveal the city or state etc!

My first stop was the Phoenix zoo. I had a blast. Although yes I could go to the Philadelphia zoo, it was a great way to start the day. I was able to feed giraffes, touch sting rays, and ride camels. I felt like a kid. Anyone who knows me knows I’m the biggest kid. Waking around eating snacks, enjoying the heat and doing the activities was exactly what I needed.

As if I hadn’t been traveling and should have been tired from the hours at the zoo I spent, I headed over to IFly Phoenix. Now they do have one in Philly however I’ve been too scared to try it. IFly is the experience of flying suspended in the air and trust me it’s an experience of a lifetime. You go through a class that trains you on what to expect since while suspended you won’t be able to hear. They are with you and guide you through. This experience was definitely worth it. You can check out my video here IFly.

After the flying experience I was tired. The excitement was wearing off and the earliness of the day was creeping up and I slowly walked to Target to get a cord. That didn’t stop me from getting a drink or two before heading off to bed once back at the hotel.

So I got 9.5 hours of sleep. I still woke up as if I was home and after I realized I didn’t have to make my son’s 6am breakfast I quickly went back to sleep. I was off to the pool to do a few hours of lounging. I enjoyed the steady flow of cocktails and water. Word to the wise in Arizona, water is your friend. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Even at 8am it was already hot.

I love laying around at the pool but I love even more is just the heat. I did get in the water which I know my husband was under the impression that I wouldn’t. The way that heat was set up even under the cabana it was not playing games. Just think it’s just Spring in Phoenix and already well into the 90’s.

So to continue on with my day I decided to attend the Cajun Fest and meet up with my girlfriend who lives in the area. It was so much fun. They had all kinds of food from crawfish to alligator bites. I stuck to brisket, Mac and cheese and beignets. As with any festival the drinks was super weak so we decided to opt for beer. The local favorite is called the Purple Haze! I really enjoyed it!!

Oh by the way, there was a watermelon eating contest which was a blast and a half to watch. We also went with the intention of bar hopping. “What had happened” was we got stopped at the first bar and called it a night. I ain’t in my 20’s anymore. Plus it just allowed me to go back to the hotel to eat and drink some more.

On Sunday I had all kinds of intentions of getting out but the way my life was set up I opted instead to workout and lounge and the pool and have a lazy Sunday. It was the best. I got so much journaling done without interruptions. Listened to adult music vs. Johnny Johnny. That in itself was a blessing! 🙌🏾

Monday was a full day to tour Sedona. This was probably the highlight of my trip. I toured through Detour West. They were hands down amazing during the booking process to the pick up and drop off. I learned a lot, saw some of the most beautiful sights and the group I was with was small and a lot of fun!! Shout out to Robert for being the best tour guide!!

While in Sedona, we stopped in uptown Sedona for us to shop and eat on our own. One of the things I love to do is eat outside. So as soon as I saw the yellow umbrellas I knew, 89Agave was the spot for me. 89Agave is a Mexican restaurant which is another one of my favorites and the drinks and food was amazing.

I experienced heat exhaustion from all of the walking so I had to get some more water and take a nap before I went back to the pool after the sun went down. Now I had experienced the heat exhaustion with taking every precautions. I was told this could happen so I was well prepared and knew the signs of heat exhaustion.

Another tip is to keep sunblock on you so you can reapply often. I had 3 different kinds on me and definitely used them. Shout out to my girl Stephanie from sassy codesigns for designing me an awesome drinking cup for my travels. Between some adult juice and water I was drinking in style!

All in all I had a great time. I enjoyed my time away. Now let me just put a few things into perspective, during the tour I met a woman who had been away for the first time in her 17 years of marriage. Although that is a blessing for her to have been able to get away, women we have to get to a place where we take our lives and how we move seriously. No not everyone can book a flight and leave, but you can take a staycation even in your own city. Before you hit me with the I can’t afford talk, let me show you where you been wasting your money.

For the past year I bought a mini notebook and in that notebook I wrote down my bills and every purchase made. I was able to sit and see exactly where I had splurges. After I noticed the money that was wasted on things that didn’t matter I was able to cut those expenses. So less money on frivolous things to save up for a trip is doable. Taking your income tax money and paying down bills instead of getting electronics, bags, or shoes will help too.

The less money in bills you have to pay will put that money back into your pocket. So if you don’t have the money to take some time away even for a weekend it may be time to enlist better spending skills or time to invest into a financial planner. The money I save in couponing I could have stayed longer or taken another trip. Open your eyes to what you are doing in your finances. Even on tight budgets you can find ways to be more frugal.

The benefits to taking a trip alone:

  1. Being able to do what you want
  2. Downtime to get your mental in order
  3. Time to plan your next moves
  4. Fun on your own terms
  5. Ability to meet other people
  6. Way to keep yourself grounded on all levels

Extras:

It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a few extra things that made my travel and planning go so well!

Let me shout out Shein clothing company. They are the ones responsible for my bathing suit. I found them on The Real talk snow Instagram and I wasn’t disappointed. They have all sizes and the clothes were of excellent quality. I got my traveling T-shirts from them as well.

Shout out to Old Navy as they provided the jacket and a few other shirts during my trip!!

Ear plugs, I elected to have the ones that aid in air travel. They were about 6.99-7.99 from my favorite spot, Target!!! You will have to order them as they aren’t sold in stores but this beats the cheaper ear plugs as it regulates air pressure during take off and landing.

It cut down on ear popping and not once did I have to hear the little girl who was screaming her head off a few seats ahead of me. Also I would suggest eye mask. It made me sleep super well on my 4-5 hour flight. Between the earplugs and eye mask I was in an oasis of comfort both coming and going.

Battery power

So I am always on my phone. However while being out and about in a city and state I’ve never been, having a full powered cell was important. Now you can continue to have to charge one of those cute battery packs that you can get from Five Below or you can step your game up with a Vinsic battery pack.

Portable charger, Vinsic 20000mAh External Battery Back Phone Charger for iPhone X iPad Samsung Galaxy Cell Phones Tablet https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZH33Q6U/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_8703AbZRDXJQH

This battery charger did NOT need to be charged my entire trip! I charged my cell at night and while out I was able to draw full battery time every day that I needed it. You can charge two devices at once. I swear by this battery that once you get it you will never buy another battery pack in your life and it’s approved for flying!!

The one thing I would elect to do is to get a rental car. Arizona is do dense that Uber and Lyft really added up for me. Thankfully I was prepared for the cost, if you want to save a few dollars do rent a car. I just didn’t want the responsibility of having to drive and I enjoyed being able to be carefree with not having to drive.

I accomplished my goals of relaxing and having a great time. While away I was able to finalize my next moves and upon my return I have some new moves that I will blog when it’s time to. I am super grateful for the down time. I know my fam bam is excited to see me and I look forward to hugging them tight and to know all those meals I prepped has given me a few more days of not having to cook.

Shout out to my husband for not stifling me as I continue to grow in my personal development. When I booked he didn’t side eye me once. He encourages this growth so I can be the best woman I can be and in return has been making me the best wife and mother. This self journey has been going strong for over a year from the inside out. Also thanks for following my Uber and Lyft rides so you knew I was safe!

Shout out to my family and close friends who checked in with me and allowed me space to enjoy my time.

Shout out to my readers who enjoyed the blogs I left on my Facebook page while I was away. I definitely didn’t log into my pages while I was gone! Now it’s time to shift into my annual Toibration 10 day birthday countdown and activities and start all of the Mother Day blogs. Some will be reposts and others fresh blogs!!

Thanks for taking the time to read about my solo trip and if you’re ever needing some down time, Arizona is a spot you should put on your radar!!