Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January in Review

I have to say, this has been the most successful and joyful year I have experienced in my life. Living out your dreams will change things. Like, really change things. I have been much happier this year and I have been extremely productive. I have busy days but I won't complain, I have been to the bottom and I don't want to go back there again.

I've started my real estate course and I am really excited to get started with this new stage in my life. I am a living testimony that God will take you through to show you that He will be with you the entire way. If He will take you to it, He will bring you through it, no doubt. God is so faithful and this year already has been phenomenal. I'm in an amazing place in my life and it feels great. So January in recapitulated (go on and Google it, I had to today when it was what we had to use in ToastMasters)...
1. I turned 23.
2. Sweetie turned 25
3. I love seeing my little niece grow. She is a whooping 9 lbs, a pound a week since she has been born!
4. I got a promotion
5. Started real estate class
6. Joined a ToastMasters Club
7. I've been taking such good care of my body. Taking vitamins and such (I'm still working on the physical part)
All in all, I want to say that I am for once, ACTIVELY pursuing my dreams and I can't express how great it really feels. I lived with fear inside of me so long. Now, I can see just how limitless my life is! If only I had figured this out before now. But I have to remember, things happen on God's time, not my own. So I accept all of this and give God a great big praise!

I don't know what you have gone through in the last year but please believe me when I tell you, God will surely keep you in your moments of weakness. I'm living my dreams now.
Words to describe this month:
1. Productive
2. Inspiring
3. Blessed
It is day 31 of the new year...What have you done with it?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bad Hair Day: I'm Pissed

I have a confession. Friday night... I was tempted to rip my hair out after an hour trying to create a quick style=FAIL...I was so very upset, almost to tears because I was so frustrated. So let me explain. I am a washn go girl hands down. But last night, I found out I had two hours to get ready for a meet and greet with my sweetie's Black Law Student Association. So I thought, hmm I will try something new! That went down hill quick. I tried to go to my tried and true style that I used to do ono my relaxed hair. Didn't work on my curly hair. So I tried to do a twist up in the back and a poof at the top, again, didn't work. I tried twisting in the front and a little puff in the back, failed again.

At this point I am in tears and my sweetie is trying to console me. I had given up on the attempt and decided I didn't want to go anymore. He encouraged me to try one more time. So I gave in and pinned it up in the back and did two flat twists in the front. I hated it but my outfit was cute (after I changed it because I no longer wanted to wear a cute pencil skirt). I wear skinny jeans and a cute gold top I bought for 11 dollars from NY and Company with some printed tights and some black pumps. I don't have a picture of any of it. That is how mad I was.

When we got there, I was still feeling angry about my hair because there were other naturals there and they had cute hair styles. I soon got over that after a third year came and started smooth talking me. I commented on his cologne and he just went in. Asking me what it would take for him to out to dinner. As he went on and on, he ended up saying: So how would you feel about dating a black, educated man with a good credit score? As he slipped his hand around my waist I slowly pulled back and said, "It feels great to have one and he is right over there!" His poor heart was broken. My sweetie came over in a tizzy, dazed and confused. So after we explained what had happened, the guy who attempted to be my new suitor proceeded to tell him how lucky he was to have such an intelligent and beautiful woman by his side. After about thirty minutes of fawning over me and my boyfriend's treasure, he pleaded for us to find him Ms. Right. LOL, as hilarious as the situation was, I was really flattered. My sweetie was grinning ear to ear (he was flattered too).

But it was a good night after all. I finally came to like my hair style and yesterday I went out and bought some dag-on hair accessories. I'm slowly coming to terms that my hair will do what it wants. I just need to accept that and we will get along.

On another note, I went on my first haul ever. and it was great. I will be posting a picture and blog with all of my goodies which include 3 hair accessories under 10 dollars, 4 pairs of shoes for under 30 dollars, and 3 tops for under 15 and a Buxton Kelly Bag for 20. My good word! I'm ready to show off these goodies!!! Until then, have a great Monday!!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On my Way

Today...Give me a second, I'm emotional! Today, I registered for real estate courses. I paid the money and I start classes tomorrow. I know this may seem simple, but to me, this is a dream becoming a reality. I have always wanted to work in real estate, as I said in an earlier post. But taking that step today was the first God-led decision I have made in my life...And there is so much peace in my mind and spirit about it. It is also the first time I have made a step toward making a dream a reality. Wow, it seems surreal. I am feeling really proud of myself for overcoming such a difficult year to find joy, peace, and perseverance on the other side. Until now it was just something I talked about doing. Now, I am actually progressing toward a goal...How about that?! This has been an amazing week. First a promotion and now I am getting ready to start making waves...See me on House Hunters in about 2 years!!!

It is day 25 of 2012. Are you making this year count?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Red Tails

I went to see Red Tails for my birthday yesterday. All I have to say is, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go see that movie. I don't know if it was just me and my nervous self, but I was on edge during the entire 2+ hours. Sweaty palms, on the edge of the seat. That was the best movie I have seen in a long time. Even better, the cast was all black and it portrayed black men in a positive light. George Lucas outdid himself with that! What a movie. So get out and go see it!!!

Also, Tyler Perry is stepping up his game too. He has a movie coming out called "Good Deeds" and it doesn't look like a low budget film. As a disclaimer, I love Tyler Perry bu this movie really does look like a professional's work rather than amateur.

So anyways, that is all I've got. I hope everyone had a fabulous Tuesday. I did. One day of being 23 and I already got a promotion at work! Look at God! I'm excited to see what else 23 has to offer!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Birthday

Presenting me!

Happy Birthday to Me! I am 23. In honor of today, I am going to give myself a motivational talk to propel into my 23rd year. My motivation is going to be a list of 23 things I love about myself. I am doing this because we often focus on the things we need to improve on instead of the things we love about ourselves. I don't know about the rest of you but I am my own worst critic. I get down on myself about the smallest things so today, I am going to be my biggest cheerleader!

I love...
1. My smile. Smiling is infectious. I know my smile keeps me going and it helps me through some of my worst days.
2. My hair. Yes I love my natural hair. It is one of the things I take pride in because it is a journey I have stuck with through the good and the bad. My hair is flourishing because I am finally learning to take care of it. -I am loving it!
3. My health-I am at my prime and I am in excellent health. Even though I don't work out like I am supposed to, I still remain active most days of the week with only a day or two of rest.
4. My ambition-I am truly a little lady with big dreams. Even though I have had a tough few months, I can still dream big and know that my dreams will come true!
5. My work ethic-When I work, I go hard. It can be the smallest thing but if I say I am going to do it, I surely will. When doing small jobs, people ask why I go above and beyond. Simply put, because I can!
6. My resilience-My S.O hates that I bounce back so easily. He worries that I don't spend enough time dealing with my present feelings. Which, I don't. But being resilient helps me keep going through the hard times. I can deal with emotions later!
7. My feet- I used to be self conscious about my feet until I got to college. I didn't realize how cute they were until I starting keeping them polished and pedicured. I think the pedicures help with the mental part!
8. My relationship with God- Though it could be better, I value the fact that I have a relationship with God. He is the light of my life and my all.
9. My discernment- I've been told that I have good energy/a good aura. With that being said, I value my sense of discernment. I am extremely sociable but I also know where to draw the line with people. I can sense a negative person out within 2 minutes of meeting them. This is how I can keep my life so intact because negativity does not exist by choice.
Can I just say that this a harder than I thought? I am going to make it through it though!
10. My compassion-I love people a little too much. I will give a bum on the street the shirt off my back or my last dollar. I have done it before.
11. My will to live- I have a pretty adventurous life compared to where I come from. I don't let any limits keep me from traveling or pursuing a new endeavor. Life is short, live while you can!
12. My love of adventure- Every year since I started college, I have been to a new state. I have been to The Big Apple, California, Las Vegas, Miami and a few other states that have beaches. By far, Vegas has been a highlight. I won some money too!
13. My hustle- I have survived working 3 jobs on a daily basis. Enough said about that one...
14. My personality- I never meet a stranger. I have always been known as a social butterfly and I live up to that. If you ever see me on the streets, be prepared to learn a little something about me before you leave. I love talking to people. Even if people give me bad vibes, I will still find something to chat with them about if I have to be around them for extended periods of time (coworkers that is...)
15. My love of learning-I like to learn about people's backgrounds, cultures, habits etc. I love learning about people. I love learning about anything. I just love learning. I always asked about people's whereabouts because I am always interesting in other people's experiences. Experiences shape people.
16. My life experiences- Despite the bad, I have come to appreciate everything that I have been through in my 23 years. They have all made me who I am today.
17. My networking skills-I love to network. I am in a very malleable stage in my life so my network comes in handy when I am interested in finding out different careers, lifestyles etc.
18. My photogenic-ness- I love to take pictures! When I had Facebook, I had thousands of pictures. I told you, I love my smile!
19. My intelligence- I have to say, I am brains just as much as beauty. I can figure out how to navigate my way through just about anything!
20. My listening ear-Though this gets draining sometimes, I do appreciate the fact that I can be called on when my friends need me. My friends know that I am always a call away no matter the time, day, or event.
21. My vivacious spirit- Most people will never see me frown. My old boss told me the other day that no matter what is going on, he has never seen me with a frown on my face. I think I pick myself up just as much as a friend can.
22. My elegance and grace- Though clumsy, which I always use as a humorous introduction, I carry myself with elegance and grace at all times, unless I trip and fall on my face...which has been done several times in my life, in front of a lot of people (I like to make people laugh)
23. My confidence- I love a lot about myself and I am not afraid to show it. I've been asked be some people that I grew up with, how I keep my confidence through the good and bad. And here is my secret...I remember that no matter what happens, I come out of every situation victorious and more prepared for the next battle. With God on my side, I can do all through Christ who strengthens me!

That's my Birthday gift to myself! I think once a year of doting on the positives goes a long way!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Be About Your Business

So I found this article on Essence.com. It was written by Janelle Harris also known as "The Write or Die Chick." I will provide the link but I will add the prayer up here for those of us who are trying to pursue something in 2012. Read Here

Dearest God,

I thank you for women abandoning the security of the corporate world to chase their dreams. Thank you for making them adventurous, bold, unsettling. Now stir up the talents and skills you’ve placed in them to be shared with the rest of the world. Help them to think big and not limit themselves to what their colleagues or checking accounts may say is “reality.” Renew them in their journey, restore them creatively and professionally, surround them with the resources they need to push into a new level of success. Remind them to reach back and help another sister in her journey. And, after they’ve “made it” and reached the goals they’ve worked so hard to check off, let them never forget where they came from and most importantly, what you’ve done for them. In your name I pray, Amen.

This powerful prayer is articulate and direct. Much needed for someone like me who needs help articulating from time to time.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Product Review: Unrefined Shea Butter

Shea butter is great for everything. It was the hype of 2010 when I decided to start transitioning but it was not all that great for using on relaxed hair. So I left it alone but kept it in my stash of hair products. Fast forward to September 2011, two weeks after I big chopped I pulled it out to see what it would do to my hair. It is such a multifaceted hair product that I now use it for several reasons. I use it to condition, to seal, and to style. Yes, it is all that and some. When I first started using it, it bothered me because it was yellow, didn't smell good, and was extremely clumpy...YUCK! I had some embarrassing moments with this one. But, after I realized that it is imperative to rub the shea butter really good in the palm of your hands, I was able to use it effectively.

So I use it for my wash and go's. Considering that is all I do to my hair at this point, it isn't saying much. But I will say that it is great for slicking down the front of my hair. I also use it as a sealant for moisture. It helps keep moisture in all day and I usually don't have to re-wet my hair after sleeping on it, just fluff and go. If I use other products, my hair feels like it dries out during the day. I think it is more of a staple for the winter though because it is on the thicker side and I don't foresee me using it as a staple for the summer, it will probably weigh my hair down! Overall, it is a good product. The picture above is it exact one I use, it is unrefined. I got it from a local beauty supply store and I am more than positive it can be picked up at any beauty supply store. It was fairly cheap. I paid less than 5 bucks for it so that is a plus.

Have you used Shea Butter before? What is your take on it?

Make 2012 Your Year

I have been wanting to pursue a career in a specific field for a few years now. I have continually put it on pause because people have told me often that the market is not good right now so it would be a waste of time and money to try to pursue this dream...If you haven't guessed it by now, it is real estate. Yea the market isn't going so well right now but you can bet on one thing, people will always buy houses...period. I should have worked on it in the fall but I was not in the mental space to think this far ahead. Now that I can think straight, I can put some things together and these are things I have to realize about pursuing my dream:
1. You can't consult just anybody about your dream. Everyone is not out for your best interest and they always think they can advise you better than God.
2. If God gives you a vision, you can best believe it is not a mirage. God is not a god of confusion. He makes it extremely clear what He wants for you. No need to consult others regarding the validity of that decision (unless it is spiritual consultation and even then, be on alert.)
3. The bad market is the best place to start because you have time to make mistakes, learn, and grow so when the market turns around, you can go in informed and knowledgeable about the area around you...DUH
4. Everyone has an opinion. Opinions are just that, not fact. Opinions can wear you down and slow you down. Therefore, if you are really and truly adamant about pursuing dreams, do your research and arm yourself with facts so those opinions don't have any value in your decisions.
5. Last but not least, Just do it. Fear will keep you from living. I know, I have been there. Don't let the fear of failure keep you from pursuing your dreams. There will certainly be ups and downs but that is all a part of the process and the journey. No one started out with on their first day. It is a necessary part of the journey to fall so that you can rise from where you are, bigger and better.

So if you have a dream you were hoping to pursue, do it this year. Make a timeline of what you are hoping to achieve and just do it. I can bet your bottom dollar that once you start, it will be the most rewarding thing you have done for yourself yet! So shoot for the stars in everything you do this year!

Sidenote: If you are a prayer warrior, I ask that you pray that a space is saved for me so that I get into the class to start toward my real estate license. The class starts next Thursday!!!
Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Frugal and Fancy

I love Japanese steakhouses. Like so much that I swear I would have thousands in my pocket had I not given them so much of my money between 2005 (when I discovered their existence) til 2011. My parents have always said that I have expensive taste, which I do but not to the extent they exaggerate it to. So last year when I hit a swag in life, ergo finances, we decided that we would stop eating out so much. And boy did we! Until yesterday, we hadn't been out since September 2011. But it was a special occasion. My sweetie's birthday was on Saturday and because we have been in such a financial bind, I wasn't able to get him anything significant for his birthday. So tonight I checked my email and had an abundance of birthday gifts from restaurants in the area. (My birthday is next Monday). Low and behold there was a gift from Kanki (A Japanese Steakhouse). My sweetie also had one for his birthday. They gave us 6 days to redeem our free hibachi steak, chicken, or shrimp meals and well, who are we to turn down a free meal?! So after doing some plotting, we decided to go ahead and make the trip to eat. And it was worth it! We were among many celebrating birthdays but among FEW who knew about the free birthday meal. But since we did, I got my beloved steak while he had chicken, again, for free. We paid a total of 13 dollars for our meal because we got an appetizer and drinks but for the food we got, it was well worth it!

I shared this for inspiration...for myself. For a while I was missing the lifestyle where I knew that a substantial amount of money would surface and I could just spend as I pleased because I knew I would be ok. I realized how grateful I was for that free (expensive) meal and how much of a non-essential it actually was in my life at this point. I will now continue taking advantage of coupons, discounts, and freebies as I move forward into my adulthood. I find that we are actually able to stretch money by doing that...Who would have thought? So the first lesson I've learned from this year is that I can still live my fancy little lifestyle but modestly. Saving for outings is so much better than splurging and wishing for that money back. No longer will I be dealing with that issue because I am staying in my financial lane which includes saving money, just because. It's the smart thing to do!

Monday, January 16, 2012

He Had a Dream: What is Yours? MLK Day 2012

I have to say, celebrating black history is something that I do often. I love reading about slavery, the reconstruction era, the jim crow, the civil rights, the harlem renaissance, all of that, in no particular order. But I don't know the basics. Had you asked me when I used to sing, what the verses were for "Lift Every Voice and Sing," I'd spit it out for you, no questions asked. These days, the words escape me, real bad...It is actually pretty ridiculous...

While in attending an MLK Jr Day event on Saturday, we started the day off getting through the Black Anthem. And boy was it a struggle...It went something like this "Lift every voice and sing, til Earth and Heaven ring, ring with the harmonies of liiiiiiberty. Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies. Let it resound, loud as the opeeeen rolling sea.
Sing a song, full of the faith that the dark past has taught us. Sing a song, full of the hope that the presence has boooooooouuuuuuught us! Facing the rising sun, of a new day begun, Let us march on til victory is won..."

Thinking that would be well with the first first we sang, everyone stopped. Until.......One of the elders started to sing the second verse. It went down hill from there. She literally had to lead us through the song, as if we were the church choir and she the director (and we did not practice well in rehearsal 2 Saturdays ago). I was embarrassed. And it went something like this: "Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod, felt in the days when hope unborn had died. hmhmhmhmhmhmhmhmhmhmhmhm, hmmmmmhhmhmhmhm feet,Come to the place from which our father's died" (wrong word again I know, It was sad.) I mean, how could I (we) embarrass those who fought so hard for us to sing that song in public by not even knowing the song. And not to mention, it went like that for the rest of the song. The elders were very irritated at the younger generation. I don't blame them. So I made it my business to be sure to learn the song this year. In the meantime, that was just a big fat F.

Ok, real quick. MLK Jr made it clear that he had a dream for us. So many things have changed but so many things have stayed the same. In the year of 2011, I thought a dream I was shooting for would never come true. I went through a phase throughout the entire year thinking my dream would be just that, a dream. But right at the end of the year, I received some inspiration that reminded me that a dream is only a dream until steps are taken to make it a reality. Until then, it will just be a should have, could have, would have, situation. And so it is, I refuse to go through 2012 with the same lackadaisical attitude that I had before. My dreams will come true when I start making moves for them, not when time decides it is ready for me to move.

With that being said as you go throughout the year pursuing your dreams, remember that Dr. King had a dream for us and in the state the black community is in right now, he wouldn't be proud. So in 2012, make it your business to reach back and make sure there is someone you take under your wing and keep the dream alive in them. This is the only way the dream will live on.

What did you do to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy this year?


On random days I get these feelings of excitement. Like epiphanies that come from knowing that a year has come and gone and an obstacle is almost over. 16 days into 2012 and I just had this epiphany that, well it is a new year, a new day, an opportunity to continue moving forward with my dreams. Funny, because I have written several posts about the new year but it really just dawned on me about 10 minutes ago. We celebrated my sweetie's birthday yesterday, my youngest sister's birthday on last Wednesday, my middle sister's (and new mom) 21st birthday is today and mine will be the Monday after (Yes we all have January birthdays, so do our Significant Others! Cool right?). I will be turning 23 on the 23rd. 23 years I will have been on this Earth and as grateful as I am, I find that there is a lot that I am hoping to gain out of life. So this year as I gracefully find out what 23 has for me, I am hoping to not only going rebuild my confidence and my drive, and my prowess for life. As the middle of my year went downhill, I found that even through my pain I was able to finish out tasks that were set before me. So if I can do that with a broken heart and muddied head, I know that I can kick it back into gear and get moving on my dreams. Most importantly, I am going to start consulting God about those dreams, you know, just to make sure I am on accord with His plan. I was reading a post that I wrote back in August and I knew that what happened to me during the last four years (dealing with my education) was a result of not consulting God about my decisions) Read Here. Now that I am aware of where I went wrong, I can move forward knowing what I need to do.

This year, I am hoping to begin to socialize more. I am a social butterfly and most people who meet me know that. I have never met a stranger and I rarely find myself unable to talk to people. Once I secluded myself from the world, that never changed. I enjoyed the lunches and the dinners and bar nights, I really did. But I think I needed a break just so I could focus on where I was and where I needed to be. So this year I hope to slowly increase my social life again.

With this new year, I also want to get back into school. I like working but I love learning. I can do both and I hope to do that soon. So right now I am studying for the GRE. With great enthusiasm. I hope to do well so I can be in school in the Fall, God-willing.

With this new year, I have a new attitude and a new look on life, I can do whatever I put my mind to. With that being said, I know that this year has a lot in store for me. Everyday is a new opportunity to make moves toward something great. I'm making sure I take advantage of every moment given to me...I mean, that is what the moments are given to us for, right?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"The Game" Premiere

Well, they just went in. The opening was mind blowing, eye catching and breath taking all in one. I had to reset myself during the first commercial break. Which brings me to my main point about "The Game," why in the heck do they give two 2 minute scenes and go to 5 minute commercials? I know they are trying to be efficient and all but umm, stop playing, give us the darn show and stop playing games! As long as people have waited for "The Game" and the efforts put behind petitioning its return, you can't give me more than 5 freaking seconds? Tuesday, January 10th, 10:08
This is my response from the first 10 minutes. Needless to say, I was getting irate because I am a person who likes my anxiety to be eased by greatness. We waited a year for this premiere and I feel that it should deliver...So on with this response...
I was not as pleased with the premiere as I thought I would be. However, I will say that I did not allow myself to get super geeked about it so that might be why. Parts of me are starting to dislike the show because of how glamorized and flashy it has become. This is coming from the same person who cried during the last episode from Season 3. I also am falling out of love with the show because of who Melanie has become. While watching the marathons, I was an hour away from writing my dissertation on the fall of Melanie Barnett Davis. I loved Melanie in the beginning seasons when she stood for more than the Sunbeams and Sabers. She was super fiesty and had so much going for herself other than being the "head of the Davis family." I mean really, couldn't she have been a successful doctor or have started her own practice or something? I mean, this is absurb. Pause, here I am again, let me just say I am not a womanist/feminist extremist.
So back to the premiere. It gets a B from me. I don't know what I expected but I was really fulfilled after than episode. But then again, maybe it is because I am slowly becoming disenchanted with the show. I don't know. But what I do know is, it is starting to look like a sitcom turned reality TV...and that is just something I can't do...

25th Celebration of Life

My sweetheart's 25th birthday is today and I am so honored to be a part of his life. He is a God-loving man. (That is the most important thing.) He is intelligent and very driven. Embarking on his 3rd degree, after a BA and a MA, he is currently working on his J.D (I told you the man is a go-getter.) He is such a supportive man and he always has my back no matter what. He always has something smart to say, literally. He has a magnificent sense of humor and he is a great cook! He really knows how to treat a woman. He'd go to the ends for me and I for him!
True love really does exist and I am a witness.

I just wanted to put it out there and wish him a very Happy and Blessed 25th Birthday.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's Game Time

I'm super uber de duper excited about "The Game" Premiere. I hope it is all that and more. Back later with my thoughts!

Congrats on your 5th season Cast!!!!

Totally Confused

So today while driving to work, I heard a radio personality talk about the reality TV show "Love and Hip Hop." She was gabbing on and on about the fight that happened between Kimbella and Yandi on the latest episode(I may be wrong, I don't watch the show). So as I continued to listen, I heard her say something to the effect of, "I love the show. I love all the drama but yall need to chill out. Yall making black women look bad."

Not too bad right?
Ok so as I continue jamming in the car to the songs that were coming on, she came on again and said "I know what show needs to go off the air. T.I and Tiny. I mean who are they supposed to be? The Cosby's of the millenium? What does T.I look like giving parenting advice? From T.I and Tiiiiny? Right?"-What seems to be the problem here?

I vowed not to watch reality tv anymore. I found myself unnecessarily stressed from analyzing everything little thing. (Degree is in psychology. Don't judge me) One night, I was up alone and nothing was on tv. So I decided what the hey, why not watch this show "Love and Hip Hop?" BIG WRONG DECISION. In the ten seconds of previews, I saw someone's vagina and breasts out from being in a fight, a mom of a rapper who hates his girlfriend and was recording a song about how much she can't stand her, lots of women who were "closely associated" with rappers but who seemed to put forth more effort than the relationship was worth...like buying a ring and proposing to a man who clearly has no desire or intention to marry you...I could go on but I will stop there.

The first episode that I watched from the T.I and Tiny show I was laughing so hard. Almost in tears because it is such a family oriented show. The one line from T.I that is so memorable was "I don't know what I'm gon do about these boys and my daughta. The government took all my guns!" Such a father thing to say. But I've never seen them put their children in harms way or put their children anywhere but first on their priority list. I'm not saying their anything close to perfect but they are a black family doing well...

I am saying all of this to say, why not support black families being on tv and showing positive lifestyles. I felt a sense of relief come over me because it is so good to see a BLACK MAN taking care of his family. All this talk about 72% of black woman being single mothers and even more black men being dead beats...well you got a family on tv to show a different story. So why the heck would someone wish them off the air? Contra-damn-dictions...The world is full of them.

Missing Child

So since most black kids who go missing do not make it on the main stream, I decided to post a blog about a missing little girl named Khaniya Roberts. I saw this on NancyGrace.blogs.com and felt compelled to make it known that the little girl is missing. We must show that our children are just as important as those with fairer skin. So here is a picture and her information. For more information just visit nancygrace.blog.com. She was on the right side of the page when I saw it.

Khaniya Roberts
From: Miami, FL
Height: 4'5"
Weight: 100lbs
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Tipline: 1800-The-LOST

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Gratitude. It's the New Thing to Do

So tonight I taught my little sister a valuable lesson on gratitude. I am big on thanking people for doing me favors, REALLY BIG! I always like to show people my appreciation so tonight I passed it on to my sister. She is a fresh-woman in college and we were taking all of her ish up 3 flights of stairs. This nice dorm-mate of hers saw us struggling and offered a hand. I was so appreciative.

My spoiled little sister, being the person she is, didn't see why I was so excited about someone helping us. I was excited well, because people honestly aren't so nice anymore. So when people do go out of their way to do a favor, I try to show that I truly appreciate it. So when we got upstairs, I took an index card, while my sister was catching her breath, and wrote a cute little message for the girl that said, "Thanks so much for helping us. We really appreciate it. Have a great semester." Three simple sentences. I attached it a box of Sprees and went on a hunt to find her. When we did, she was so surprised and excited that we went out of our way to show our gratitude. My sister made a new pal and I was excited to be able to use this as a teaching moment. Little things really count!

So as we go on throughout our days, make sure to recognize those who you are grateful to. Little or big things, the acknowledgement goes a long way! Notice how far it will take you and how great it will make you feel.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

What's My Hair Up to Now?

Silly Me...I went straight for the holidays...I don't know what possessed me to do it but I did. Before I get too down on myself, my hair came out better than I thought but with that also came the revelation that I do need to keep my ends trimmed.

I went into Sally's Beauty Supply looking for my beloved Profectiv Mega Growth Oil. It is true that my ends were jacked up and my hair had a blown out look but it looked dull. They didn't have the oil. The associate was all in my roots, literally. Took my hair out of its bun, rubbed her fingers through my hair to feel my scalp. And said the dreaded, "now you need a trim really bad." Screeeeeeeeech!
Can I just say that I was not only heartbroken, I was slightly embarrassed. I really didn't think my ends were THAT bad. So she proceeded to tell me that I needed to get my mom to trim my ends...HUH? Then she said that my mom needed to put a really good heat protectant on my hair when she straightened it...So I had to stop her. I said "Pause, how old do I look?" She told me excitedly, "15!" Mouth on the floor. So after I told her that I was 22, I got a whole new person. She started to walk me through several things regarding my hair, that is because I was asking so many questions.
"So how often would your suggest I trim my ends"
"Oh one more question, what would you suggest as a good heat protectant?"
" OH ONE MORE THING, for real this time, how do I wrap my hair when it is straight?"
"Oh a Denman brush? You have one here that's similar?"
"Ok one more question for real, how do I trim my ends?"
This associate was extremely receptive to my game of 21 questions, but I needed answers. I mean, I am very new to this natural thing, only 5 months post my BC which means I have not had the chance to learn how to take care of my hair with all these darn season changes.

So lesson learned. Take care of these ends or trim them. I did however notice I have about an inch and a half of growth since my last straightening session. That is a success!
I have A picture of my hair with the newest addition to my family, Miss Savannah, who is the most precious little diva I have seen in my life. She also has some silky smooth hair, gorgeous!

Friday, January 06, 2012

New Year, New Values: Forgiveness

We all hear about it. We all say it. But what does it really take to actually FORGIVE someone who has hurt you once, twice, or as many times as a clock strikes in a day? I have recently experienced the extent to which forgiveness will truly take over your daily functioning and how I have been forced to grow. Truly grow past hurt and pain I have experienced from friends.

In the last few months of the year, I was really forced to lean on my friends. Sadly, no one really had time to help me past my hurt because they were so focused on things going on in their lives. Now all I could think of at the time was, WTH, I am always there for my friends, dropping everything for them and I can't get an ear to talk to...PROBLEM. So for the last two months of the year, I stopped talking to my friends, didn't call them for their birthdays, didn't call for the holidays. I was truly taken aback by the fact that they weren't there for me and honestly considered calling the friendship quits, despite years of good times. But one day I just woke up and I was over it. I was truly over the hurt that I had experienced from feeling like my friends had left me hanging. Then, I realized that in order for me to start my new year off in the right way, it would be best for me to just...forgive...It feels like a weight has been released off of my heart, chest, and my mind. What it really took for me to forgive, well keep reading...

During those months that I choose not to talk to my friends, I noticed, they didn't call me either. Interesting enough, I thought I was hurting them when I was only hurting myself. That is when I finally said, ok, I will be the one to break the ice and make the move to either go forward with a friendship or really just consider it a seasonal situation. When I gave in and prayed about it, I found that I had no choice but to just forgive. Just forgive. Let the past be the past and move forward. What may come of it, will come, it was out of my hands. So I forgave. I still didn't talk to one of my friends until the last week of the year and the other just two days ago. As interesting as it was, I found that even after all of the pain I experienced behind my friends, forgiving them made all of that go away and I've been able to have pleasant, non-disgruntled conversation with them. Fancy that! So my lesson to you and myself is to find it in yourself to forgive those who hurt you in the past. It really only hurts you by holding a chip on your shoulder because the other person probably goes on with their lives. So from here on out, forgiveness is incorporated into my growth plan. I wouldn't be human if I didn't face hurt from those close to me...Now I'm not saying to be a punching bag. However I do believe that relationships require bumps along the journey.

What is a friendship without a few obstacles? What is the point of working toward having a stronger relationship if there is nothing to really grow into?

Hope this helps you move forward with the New Year!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Motivation for the New Year

For those of us who experienced rough and tough in 2011, I wanted to remind us of the phoenixes we are when we rise from the ashes and claim our lives from bad situations. So as you end your 5th day of the year, and start the beginnings of a new year, enjoy the readings of Maya Angelou. She wrote this piece for me and for you...to remind us that even though the rain falls and the winds blow, we will rise from our situations.

Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Motivation for the New Year: Be the "Master of Your Fate: The Captain of Your Soul" In 2011

This poem is posted right next to the door. I was tasked to read it each day before leaving home. As I was watching "Verses and Flow" on TVOne, I was reminded again of this poem. So I am sharing it with you.
Invictus by William Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Welcome 2012!!!

So in the spirit of the new year and a birthday on the horizon, I decided that it is about time to make some real changes. Not just resolutions for the year, but lifestyle changes to better my intellect, physical and mental health. So I have a list of things that must happen in order for me to experience some true growth in the next six months. I give myself six months so I can measure where I am and actually have something to look forward to rather than wait all the way until December and most likely forget things that I say today, January 4th. So here is my list of things that I will incorporate into a better lifestyle this year:
1. Pray more...I pray. I just pray at night before I go to bed and to bless my food. Now, don't throw your judgement hat on just yet. I have a hard time asking God for things. I can give Him all the praise in the world but when it comes to ASKING, I tend to back myself into a corner. So I will pray and meditate more often.
2. Go to church more...I am a slacker. I have said this before. When it comes to church, getting up early on Sunday is really hard. I love going to church and as soon as I get over that hump of dragging myself out of the bed, I am fine. I was doing fine for a little bit but some family issues kept me from going to my home church any longer. I go to my SO's church too but it is hit or miss. I did not spend my first Sunday of the year in church but I do plan to make sure I am at least in Bible Study once a week. (Starting next week, I am already slacking...)
3. Save more money...For real. I am going on 23 and I do not have any money saved up. That is a problem because it is not like I do not know what it takes to save money. I just like to have things when I want them. I am very impatient when it comes to things I want and I often just buy things for myself rather than wait on someone else to do it for me. That comes from being the older child. So this year, I am putting all of my impulse buys to the side and really being cautious of the money I spend. Maybe I should invest in a shock collar or something...
4. Take care of my body-physical and nutrition...for real. Now if you look at my earlier post, I vowed to start working out more. I was doing great for a couple of weeks but I fell off track. Anyone who has tried working out after being away for so long can understand where I am coming from. Missing one day can throw everything off. Well, my doctor told me that I needed to get about 3 to 4 days of cardio in a week. Thats not too bad. I can do this!!! I have tried the multivitamins. It is hard to take them because they often make me gag. Because I don't eat a good breakfast. MY FAULT. Working on that too
5. Last but not least...Work on my relationships. This is for my family and my friends. I actually need to weed through the friends though. Even though there aren't that many, they have more issues than Time Magazine. It gets draining, more than it should to be a friend so I need to learn how to take care of myself before I can help my friends.

I think these five things are extreme growing points for me. I hope to keep tabs on this so in six months, I can see how far I have come...
What are some things you hope to work on in 2012?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a great end of 2011. It was a year of successes, setbacks, trials, and tribulations but we made it to another year. I hope 2012 is prosperous and amazing as we apply the lessons we have learned from our experiences. Happy New Year to all!