Her Own Empire

So I was watching Starz’s Survivors Remorse and on the show Missy Vaughn played by Teyonah Parris and Reggie Vaughn played by RonReaco Lee are married.  It came out after Reggie was playing cards and lost $123,000 with “big wigs,” that Missy’s father had him sign a prenuptial agreement since Missy comes from money before they were wedded. Now the issue was the signing as well as the fact that as a married woman she didn’t work. Her claim is she keeps the house together aka a stay at home wife.  By the way they have no kids.  The father once he sat down with Missy and explained that the reason he made Reggie sign a prenuptial agreement is so that if the marriage failed, her husband wouldn’t be able to take her money and leave her high and dry.  Her mother interjected that she needed to work too.

So the issues that stirred:

  1. Prenuptial agreements.  Are they a thing to get if you have money or property?Some would argue that you are setting your marriage for failure.  Some would say it is in everyone’s best interest to get one.  Marriage is a partnership and apart of the partnership includes money.  Love is beautiful however being broke is ugly.  We need to talk about the importance of being financially sound before marriage.
  2. Stay at home wife-contributions and withdraws of said money-I was a stay at home wife for many years.  For me it was the best solution to paying high daycare fees.  It was more cost-effective to be at home.
    1. The Pros:
      1. Get to be the COO of your home.  You are the one that organizes and get the home together
      2. You if you have kids don’t have to wonder what your kids are doing cause you are the ones doing it for them
      3. You save money in the long run
    2. The Cons:
      1. Not having your own money comes with the challenges of having to depend on your husband to give you money or allowances. This works for some and not for others.  It depends on the husband that you have to be honest.  Most men talk a good equality talk on the surface but you have to get to the real nitty and gritty if that man means it.  Sorry to say most do not but they pretend to.  You have to be able to talk about it and be clear on what that looks like.  Does the wife still get to get out and do things women like to do such as keeping herself up, shop, or get a coffee if she wants?  If so what does the budget look like.
      2. Not having adult interactions because you are in the home most of the time.

Now let me put this is terms where my life fit in it and what I got from this.  Money in our home has always been an issue. I am going to be transparent because I KNOW for a fact that a lot of women go through this.  I love things.  I like the ability of being able to get the things that I like or want.  The drawback to this when I was a stay at home mom is that my husband rarely said no.  However what he had to do in the background to make sure that every time I swiped was part of the conversation that I didn’t want to have to have. I got to the point of not having of my own and having to rely on him.  This is a dangerous place for most women including myself.

Who puts it back if its gone?

The ability to do for myself is a beautiful thing. I know some women do not care, but for me I do. I am striving to be the type of women that if my husband does it is a bonus and not out of need.  The reason is my husband plain and simple is not the husband from the 1950s who takes shoveling out money on the chin.  That doesn’t mean he has an issue giving me the things I need and some of the things I want.  However there has been times when in conversation he would say it.  In the beginning I would read messages he would text on his phone. AKA get into his phone and find negative messages about what I was doing on all fronts of the relationship not just money by the way.  These are the things they don’t tell you about marriage or relationship especially ones that have only one partner being the only bread-winner or the main bread-winner.  If you have one that is constantly spending and not putting it back-who puts the money back?  The working husband and sometimes the working wife since men stay at home too.  If the husband or wife is stressed trying to figure it all out than the issue isn’t in the spending its in balancing.  I think both partners should be honest about that.  However ladies I know I have heard it and if you’re not careful go back to doing whatever at no respect for his hustle too.  The man may want to do more but if he stressed trying to put it back all the time maybe that’s the issue in your spending and not just in him giving or not giving.

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Now back to Reggie and Missy I could relate to the shock when Missy mom told her to get a job.  It’s the life of Riley when you can swipe and kick off to wonderland until you realize your mate doesn’t respect the fact that you have him working harder than ever to put the money back you keep using.  I know, it would be east to blame the man until you take your emotions out of it and come to reality that at the end of the day, money is made not wished upon.  She had the look of disgust when it came to the fact that she needs to work and secure her own so her father or her husband couldn’t make any issues with money. I am realizing more and more and maybe it’s because of my personal dealings that there really is no real we.  To be honest, he that makes the gold makes the rules.  Its frustrating but it matters on who you are with to be honest. And regardless of who you are marrying to recognize the financial state that your family is in.  Red bottoms when you are saving may not be in the cards. Asking for them and getting but not caring if that man has to work extra hours or cut back in another area to get them is an issue.

Get your hustle on too

I would encourage every woman to know the financial dealings of your home.  You should know the ins and outs of what accounts are in effect.  Know the numbers, know where the important documents are in the home.  Please use one of your gifts to make your own money even if your money isn’t as long as your husband.  Every now and again say no to your husband’s swipe.  This means that you will have to have something of your own to swipe with.  I know this world would tell us that we are women hear us roar, that’s cute too but roar with some dollars it’s one of the ways to keep respect in the finances of your marriage.  To those who do not have that issue, kudos to you.  For the rest of the world, always securing your own bag is best.  Trust and believe these men will respect you more when you can do a few things independent of you.  Even the ones who claim they are here for your personal growth lie constantly so get your coins all the way up.

The big issue is to ask questions and be transparent with your spouse about money. This goes for both parties not when and after your completely frustrated.  Money was always scary to me and I never wanted to take the time to get the full picture. I do not want to paint my husband into a tyrant that by no means is the reason of this blog.  It’s to highlight an area that causes more divorce in the country within marriage. Not having a conversation and having expectations that don’t match with reality.  Men you must have a conversation and be honest too.  Ladies we have to be willing to listen without emotion.  Most husbands want to see their wife happy they just don’t want to die killing themselves to get you to that point. Come to the table with something or find ways to always reinvent the wheel to bring things to the table, coupon to cut corners.  Then when you cut the corners don’t spend that too, save.  Help the household not just you or your bottom line. Also shout out to my dad who before marriage ALWAYS then and NOW drills the importance of having your own.  He would never want me to be totally dependent on my husband.  It has zero to do with my husband controlling me it has to do with being free to make decisions on my own and being totally depenedent is and will never be healthy.  Shout out to my husband who has behind the scenes has helped me be financially debt free, and to make sure that I am empowered to have my own.  He doesn’t stop me but encourages me to be my own woman.  Some can’t say that. Work out the dealings of your home and if you feel like things aren’t being heard on any side, than I would suggest getting someone who will not take sides to be a mediator.  As much as people think the issue of money is no big thing, it is a huge part of living with another person and working things out.

Also know that things will NEVER make you happy. Get your spirit together as well. Sometimes the desire to excessive spending could reveal something on the inside that you are dealing with that shopping bags can’t fill.

Kevin Hart: The Pull Up Chronicles

Every woman is different.  What one woman will put up with doesn’t apply to all.  You never know what you will do until you are in it.  Let me explain why I would be ready to do a pull up edition on Kevin Hart.

The cheating or the act of having sex outside your marriage isn’t the full issue for me. Maybe it should be, but it’s not.  My issue is that Kevin wanted to prove so much to the world that he was the poster boy for changed behavior and KNEW he had been slipping and tipping around with another woman.  For me that is cause for a pull up.  I would be ready to get him on that alone.  He wanted to act as if this new wife was so much better than his last.  He wanted us all to believe he had changed his mind-set so much yet in reality he was doing the cheating in plain view.  Cheating in plain view is when you have a conversation with your mate and denounce people who would do the same. They stay visible.  They are on social media talking about you being the light of their world.  Then without warning the light must have dimmed because they get caught with another person.  Nothing irks a woman more than being embarrassed.  I can say the same for men too.  It’s the type of hurt that won’t go away with flowers and jewelry.  It’s the type of hurt that burns your soul.  You go all out telling others how wonderful your mate is and then you are blindsided.

Listen what Kevin doesn’t understand is his kids are older.  When he cheated his kids may have been unable to read or know what is going on.  However they are in private school.  One thing about private schools is they are usually smaller in attendance and everyone knows everything about each other.  They have to walk around where other kids ask them if its true.  They may feel the need to defend their dad even in his wrong doing.  Once you involve kids in your messy affairs that’s when the gloves comes off as a mother for me. I feel bad for Eniko that she is being embarrassed.  I feel bad that she thought the same way you got em, wasn’t going to be the same way she would lose him. That is a principle in life that doesn’t care about your economic status.

So to Eniko who is pregnant and doesn’t need this stress, have your baby and work in your own mind what you want to do.  We all have opinions but YOU have to live with his cheating and that will always overshadow your relationship.  To other women who are going through this or will, know that cheating is horrible but make your next steps a decision you can live with daily.  Don’t do what others think you should do as they will forget the cheating you can’t!

5 Lessons: Happy 5th Anniversary 

So today is the day. Do you know what today is? It’s our anniversary. Yes finally we have made it to year 5 and whew God is merciful because we almost didn’t get here. Marriage is hard work. People make it like a fairy tale where you are just so super in love and everything works out. Well I can’t speak for everyone else’s marriage but that isn’t how it works.

Let me break down the years. Our first year we already had our oldest daughter and son. I personally went through the worst post-partum of my life. Between the arguments and threatening to take the kids every other second the first year wasn’t a good year. I thought that since we had known each other forever and a day and was friends first that we wouldn’t be hit with the normal first year drama. I was hella wrong. It was so bad we even went to counseling after 3 months and it was then when I was ready to roll. The dreaded “divorce” came up and we were both ready to end it. Looking at the one that I loved and feeling defeated was humiliating even if a large people had no idea we were at a brink.

I could blame it on the new baby, living with his mom, being a stay at home Mom, and moving to a new city with no support system in place.  The reality is I put forth no effort even though if I could go back to my journal entries I was just angry, tired, and unfulfilled. The reality is that although I loved my husband I wasn’t ready to be a wife in the fullest extent. We had too much going on at one time but I knew when I took my vows that I wanted to be the best wife. What is a good wife? I had no clue no more than he did on what made a good husband.

Years 2-5 were up and down. I remember that the drama from year one spilled into year 2 for sure. I wasn’t sure if going to counseling where I felt like it was on me to suck it up and deal with it all had taken its toll. Our counselor was great. I’m not painting it all bad let me be clear that the Lord knows the many days we went without talking, not on the same page, or was plain sick of each other.

What turned it all around for me personally was at year 3, we had been on the down side of our marriage and Marques looked at me, grabbed my face and asked me was I in or out? He said we can’t threaten to divorce or even attempt it because had we gone down that road again we would be done and not turning back. He said he wanted us to get it together. No more hitting below the belt. No more talking disrespectfully. No more yelling and definitely no arguing in front of the kids. No more planning on leaving or taking the kids. No more craziness from either one of us.

Here are the 5 lessons I learned so far:

1. Happy Wife, happy life isn’t true: I think we as women use that phrase to our advantage sometimes to get what we want. However the key is having a wife who is happy in her own skin. You can’t make a miserable, hurting or unfulfilled person happy. I choose now after the smoke has cleared to get and keep my life grounded and not make it about my relationship alone.
2. I’m not always right.
3. Quietness is good at times.
4. Having my own activities, friends etc is key. Being one doesn’t mean that we have to be joined at the hips. Balancing being a whole woman is key before I can give to my husband or my kids.
5. To laugh-I was too serious trying to be perfect that I became the wife that I never wanted to be.

Marques’ Lessons learned:

1. Communication is important

2. Give respect to get respect

3. Better to listen than to speak

4. Don’t jump to conclusions

5. Don’t harp on things that don’t matter

Marriage life isn’t perfect. However we both are better at balancing. He does the things that make him solid and I do the same. We both don’t put pressure on each other to be who we aren’t. We are learning to accept each other’s flaws.  We have gotten super solid as a team. Since year 3 we made it clear to those around us that we are a real team. No nonsense will be accepted and we don’t give others front row seats to play us against one another. We shut the door. If you see us we work more behind the scenes without having to be open to listen to all advice from everyone without listening to each other for what we need. I respect all marriage but we no longer mirror our marriage in compassion to what works for another couple.  We are different and what works for another couple doesn’t work for us and vice versa.

Relationships goals are what we set between us during pillow talk and not just cute pictures to display a falsehood of love and admiration. We are our own relationship goals!!

So happy anniversary to us, Mr. and Mrs. Storr!!

The Art of Stress Less Packing

I love to travel. I can’t say I travel as much as I would like but when the opportunity comes I definitely take full advantage of it. Here are a few of my own personal tips that helps regardless if you’re single, married, or have kids.


1. Don’t wait until the last minute 

Sometimes this is easier said and done. We all have busy lives. However taking the time to pack ahead of time cuts down on having to detour your trip to the store to replace something you already have but forgot and not to mention saving on coins. 

2. Pack the necessary things first

If you are traveling via an aircraft this is the best advice. Pack what you know without a doubt you will need first. Not all airlines allow you to travel with your bags for free so making executive decisions on what you have to have and packing that first helps. After that you can decide if the extras are really worth it or not. Do you know how many people have to unpack and readjust their items to avoid that fee?! 

3. Roll and pack

Rolling your items can help you pack more of the things you want and need. Often times where you are going will have an iron of some sort. 

4. Make a master traveling list 

I do this even for all seasons. This will help you to cross off the things you have packed, the things you need to purchase and pack or the things that you have yet to pack. This is key even with kids. During our recent quickcation I left nothing behind using this method. It felt good to have more than we needed. Checking the list off instead of just grabbing things was way more organized and saved on the stress later.

5. Pack light 

There’s usually smaller versions of the things you need. Get those items instead of the home size as I call it. This is especially for hair care and hygiene. Everyone knows there are travel sections in most stores. They have made it possible even to travel with laundry detergent these days. Grab those items first. They are key in opening room for the other items you need. 

6. You can’t take it all

As much as you would like to bring it all it’s not going to happen. Think about the method of your traveling. Are you going via car? Will you be with others via car? You will need to keep things to one bag to ensure room for others to store things in the trunk. Is this a family trip? Can multiple people pack in one bag? I packed the kids in on suitcase for a 3-4 day trip and it worked. Are you traveling via aircraft? You will have to limit. Think about having to push or carry these items too. The lighter the bag the less stress you allot for yourself or travel companions. 

7. Pack for the events 

Sometimes we just get clothes but don’t count the events you are going for. Focus on the events and pack around it. For our quickcation I packed around the pool and beach. This made it easier to make sure I had what I needed. Going for a wedding, pack around that. People have gone away for these types of events and completely forget the major needs for why they are traveling. Stay focused. 

8. Be prepared

Have copies of your travel documents and identification on you. The worst thing you can do is forget these items. Bring a first aid kit. Emergencies can happen at any time. Have others who are not traveling to have copies of your travel documents that can get them to you via email. Not only that having someone be able to reach you in case of emergency is key. 


9. Emergency fund 

I know in some cases traveling with just enough is what happens, however having emergency money on hand is key. You never know what can take place. You need to be prepared for anything to happen. A blown tire, lost luggage, a wardrobe malfunction. These are very real events and having to depend on someone to get you through doesn’t always work. I traveled to a wedding with my daughter one time and the hotel we originally booked was horrible. I ended up having to rebook somewhere else during the holiday weekend. 

10. Have options

This is key to have options for what you wear but also for what you will do. This is a digital age so you should have files designated for when you travel for what you want to do. This is key before you set out to travel. This is important even if you are meeting up with others. Nothing is worse than you not doing enough research before you travel. You should have weather alerts set up for your place of travel and with the alerts you should be prepared for a dip in weather, rain, snow, etc. 
The more prepared you are ahead of time the better the over all trip will be.

Also travel with empty store bags, traveling mesh bag, etc 

You can use the bags to place dirty or soiled clothes. Once you return you can take the bags to the laundry room and keep them separated from the clean ones. 

Also take empty sandwich bags or storage bags to bring things home too. You will be surprised of how they can be used. 

Extra tips:

1. Take or get Lysol especially if you’re going to be staying at a hotel. If you can also get a room disinfectant and a cleaner to wipes things down. This may be extreme to some but I never travel without it. 

2. Pack hand sanitizer and you’re own towels and wash clothes if you can. Some even buy a cheap towel and wash cloth set to throw out at the end of their trip. 

3. Pillow. It always good if you can bring your own. If not get a towel to lay over the one you will be using. 

Jayz 4:44

So you know you heard about it. The new anticipated album of Jayz has hit and so have all of the reviews. So I’m not about to analyze every song and their meaning. However let’s get to the grit of what all the hoopla is about. 

Did Jayz cheat on Beyoncé?

He said he did. He was clear in his lyrics. I know some has speculated that both of them used a made up situation to make money and exploit but let’s just be real, what man is going to out himself and bring his kids in the middle of it? He mentions his daughter Blue and all of that to sell records? I didn’t get the whole let’s make money vibe from the album at all. 

I felt like it was a man who couldn’t deny that he had been cheating on Beyoncé and especially after the infamous Lemonade that Bey spilled. Now let’s be clear Beyoncé isn’t the first woman to be cheated on nor will she be the last. The premise is that with Beyoncé how could anyone do this?! Simple, no matter who you are, life happens.  Money and power doesn’t excuse life from coming at you. If anything it makes life that much more complicated.

So is Jayz the best man in the world or the worst? I say no. Just because he came clean in his music I’m quite sure he had a lot of redemption behind the scenes. Now I am not judging Bey but let’s be clear her reasons to stay were of her own. She can’t change what Jayz did. His cheating regardless of his reasons are all his own. A woman staying past many miscarriages and cheating is a lot. Her being Queen Bey will never as a woman put what happened under a light eye. No woman wants to be cheated on. We don’t ask for it. We don’t. However when a woman stays that says more about her. I know I’m a Beyoncé fan, but truth is truth. 

So yes it promoted me after hearing 4:44 to re-listen to Lemonade once again. I heard the pain in her voice. I heard it the first time and said without knowing that this album wasn’t simply about her mother’s divorce. So let’s talk about marriage. I’m not about to drag Beyoncé on what she should have done in HER marriage. It’s hers. Marriage is never perfect.  I don’t have one and we are coming up to 5 years next month. My parents have been married over 20 years and don’t have one either. What someone puts up with in their marriage is up to them. It can be talked about and judged but until you walk in a person’s shoes than you will never get it. What I pray is that Beyoncé and Jayz are doing what works for them and their now 3 kids. 

The least that we can do is listen to two people tell their truth in song. If they sell records and they have and will that’s what artist do. I don’t think it makes what they are saying any less truth because of it. Artist of all types pour their souls into their artistry. So just sip, gather the tea, resip some more and than the biggest part, work on your own life. Jayz brought up investing, keeping wealth in your family and taking care of home. Apply all of that. It’s not as if the universe, your mom, blogs, and just about everywhere hasn’t been pushing that message. It’s the reason we got more go fund me accounts for funerals than life insurance. We got more fake ballers than millionaires. The reason we take more stances in what Bey and Jayz are doing than our own lives. Learn to watch while still doing. Did you kiss your own mate? Or did you walk out the house with bitterness and neglected to kiss your own love but you knew the exact moment the Carter’s kissed and paparazzi got the shot? They are married and married folks kiss-no big thing right?! See I love to watch others too but I try with the best intentions to build in my own house more.  

So yes he cheated. She stayed. She lost a few babies along the way. It’s their journey together. Work on yours. If you are or have been cheated on what did you do? What are you doing in your relationships to be more open? Do you have your financial house in order single or married? How’s your credit? What debt will you leave behind? Did you drink water today? Did you work out? Did you? Sip and do. 

Ask Toi: What do you do if a wedding invitation was sent and replied to but you receive a letter saying you are no longer invited?

So the back history to this question is the reason given is that the bride and groom is over their numbers.

Let me give a sad face to the couple. Okay that’s all they get from me. I would not attend the wedding and forego the reception.  I personally think it’s super tacky to invite someone, have them send in their reply card on time and then you send a letter about being uninvited.  The reply card is exclusively for the reception. No one is charging per head to step in most public churches so this is about the reception per plate cost. Do I understand the expenses of weddings? Absolutely. There are so many that you love but just can’t accommodate. However have your final count before sending out the actual invitation. For me it’s as simple as not going and DEF no gift being sent. If you are planning a wedding please understand that this is the most tackiest thing you could do. It’s tacky even if you call your guests and try to explain BUT a letter is just plain craziness to me. 

I’m not saying don’t be their friend or if they are family cut them off BUT you can best believe an invite for anything else going forward would be getting the side eye. Who does this type of craziness? 

Fake Marriages and Why?

So every last relationship on this planet is different.  Not one is the same no matter how many similarities may exist. So my thing is that women do NOT need to be married.  I know men are measured by their careers and women by their relationship status but this is crazy.  The number of spiritual ceremonies and fake marriages is getting out of hand.

Now let me tell you where this is coming from.  I read a blog that stated that Yandy and Mandeecees from Love and Hip Hop New York after the lavish wedding they had on national television is actually not real.  I don’t know if it is or not but let’s say for argument sake it’s not.  I don’t get the point.  It’s technically not my point to get but let’s draw on a few things.

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Do we have to have these fake marriages?  It’s one thing if you have a spiritual ceremony and everyone knows hey we don’t want the necessary papers but we doing this because it feels right.  The other flip is to attempt to make it appear that you are indeed married when you are not.  Like what are you proving to others?  I have never felt the need to do things for an audience.  Like for instance the terms wifey and hubby irks the hell out of me.  I know its cute to say but let’s keep it real.  There are a number of couples that believe in their little hearts that they are that man’s wifey when in reality you are indeed not.  You are a girlfriend that likes pet names.  I don’t mean to burst your bubble but that’s how it works.  Let’s give a scenario, you are in an accident and your “hubby” dies, you are not the one they seek to make decisions .  Sorry you are not.  They are looking for next of kin. Bummer all that hubby talk doesn’t give you legal rights unless you were smart enough to get power of attorney and other legal documents lined up.

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I love when I hear people say they don’t care about a piece of paper but be the same ones posting memes about how men get licenses for their dogs and won’t do the same for their relationships while laying next to their “hubby.” If you don’t want to be married than so be it.  It’s not for everyone. I can respect it.  I am married and I don’t ever paint this happily ever picture like I lay in bed of roses and balloons all day.  Marriage is work and not everyone is cut to make it work.  So stand by it.  Please stop sending out messages to people to make it appear that your relationship is more than it needs to be and then want people to respect you as such.  Just stop.  Now Yandy and Mandeece may decide to be married after his stint in jail is over.  Business wise it makes sense but it poses a very important question.  If you can’t fully take on your mate’s issues on paper because it will cost you than what does it show you about the cost of your relationship for real.  Like I get it.  Legally Yandy would be held liable for paying back his fines and cost possibly for the financial responsible for his kids too.  However they paint this picture like she is more than able and wants to take on his kids.  I can’t wait to see how this comes out.

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As a woman who want to be a boss, can you just be in a relationship and satisfied or have you already given into the societies desire for you to be married so faking it gets others off your back?  It in all reality says you love a man but at the end of the day legally you are no different from any other woman in that man’s life.  I am sure she has gotten her paperwork in order that if she needed to take care of his affairs she can, but for the average woman how long you gonna play house if you really want to be a permanent house mate?  This isn’t for the women who swear off men and would NEVER marry.  This is the ones that lie to themselves and are just okay to be entangled with a man.  This is for the woman who is marriage hungry to take on a man’s name.  Be smart.  Find out what works for you and stick to it.  But stop the lies.  Stop lying to yourself as if you are more to that man than the pretty picture he has painted.  He just wants that milk for free and is “trying to get his shit together.”  How long that takes?  Let me guess its 10 years and you are crying inside and lying to your mom and girlfriend just like he lies to you.  You want marriage but don’t want to rock the boat or “hubby” will leave.  You better get in your own spirit what you want and take the fake mask off.  If you want marriage, make sure is for YOUR right reasons.  However don’t waste a quarter on a fake ceremony. I have said it before and I will say it again if it’s a ring you want, buy yourself one.  Do NOT however stop feeding a bunch of lies about that paper you really do want.  Be smart.  Be honest. Be clear.

Women shouldn’t have to fake it in 2 places and that’s the bedroom and to an audience of folks who could care less.  Speak up about what you need in and out of the bedroom.  Too many woman having to fake a lot of things and let with empty shells and dry sheets.  Do better.