Friday, March 31, 2017

Seven things I hate about blogging

Blogging is such a wonderful experience.  I get to be myself, except for using an alias.  I get to share some of my deepest feelings with you.  Also, I get the chance to meet some really amazing bloggers and just other people on social media in general.  On the other hand, like with all things in life, there are some things I honestly do not like about being a blogger.  I know, I know...hard to believe, right?  How can something I love to do so much have these elements that just get under my skin?  Simple answer - I'm human and I like what I like.  





1 - Cliques
I have just come to the conclusion that cliques are everywhere in life.  I have found this particularly interesting in tweetchats.  Although I LOVE them and even do one of my own, I've found that some people (even some hosts), just stick to chatting it up with people they know.  While I'm participating and definitely when I'm hosting, I try to spread the love.  I mean, how else are we going to get to know each other and help each other out?

2 - Follow / Unfollow
Straight up, this madness just needs to stop.  It's absolutely annoying and I have no time for games.  And for the people who do this, do you not think we don't realize who you are and what you are doing?  You show up in my feed each week on Twitter and Instagram.  This makes it hard for us sincere bloggers make connections because we're trying to figure out who is playing.  Seriously, just stop.  

3 - Writer's Block
This is horrible.  This is even more horrible when this doesn't match the time I'm taking breaks.  I love taking small breaks and not the month long hiatus I used to take.  However, there is always a fellow blogger who helps me get back on track - even when they don't realize it.  

4 - Grammar Police
I think I see this more from people who don't blog.  As bloggers, we have unique writing styles.  I will be the first to admit that I don't always use proper grammar.  It's not because I don't know how to use it, it's because I want to keep my blog fun and enjoyable for anyone.  I'm not hear (yep, I did that) to write an English paper.  I'm here to write and get some stuff off my chest.  

5 - Drop Outs by Default
Ok, I guess you want me to explain this one.  Say if you have committed to something and you just ignore the deadline and the follow up.  That's weird to me.  This is for anything in life, but especially blogging.  Schedules get made and then you have to rearrange things.  It can be annoying, but it also teaches you to sort of blog on your feet!  I know that we all get busy and that is cool, especially for us part-time bloggers, but a simple email or tweet letting us know that you can no longer participate would be nice.  

6 - Location
This one, I cannot help.  I have a bunch of UK bloggers on my radar, but only a few in the US.  Just recently, I've been lucky to make contact with a few bloggers in my area and that is really cool.  I wish we could get together and do something for the US bloggers the way that the UK bloggers rock out for each other.  Might really have to consider this because I would absolutely love to meet some of you in person!  

7 - Stealing
If you get an idea from someone, just give them credit.  I think it is great to give other bloggers credit.  First, it gives you a chance to let the other blogger know you have read their material and obviously like what they have done.  Also, it gives you a chance to get to know other bloggers in their community.  It's all about working together, not taking credit for something you didn't do.  Even if you cannot remember where you got the idea from (which has definitely happened to me), at least acknowledge that you got it from somewhere.  

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There you have it.  Just a few things I don't like about blogging.  Honestly, I think this is all the negative things I have to say.  However, if I ever do a seven things I love about blogging, I might just have to do several posts because it is definitely more than seven.  

So, what is something you don't like about blogging?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Birthday Series - Meet Demi!

When I tell you the blogging community is amazing, I believe amazing!  It is even more amazing when you get the opportunity to reach out to bloggers in your own community.  This is a wonderful time for me to introduce you to the fabulous Demi of DemiBee's.  We live in the same state and it is so cool to be near a person (in location) and not just on social media.  So, without further ado, let's find out a little bit more about Demi's birthday, past and present!  


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1 - What has been your favorite birthday gift?
Hmmmm....I can't think of any gift that was my favorite.  Even as an adult, I loved and was very grateful for any gift I had received.  '

2 - What age did you have your favorite birthday party?
I guess when I was 4.  My mom used to have my parties at McDonald's.  I don't know why, but that was the one I remembered having the more fun at.

3 - What is your favorite birthday memory?
My favorite birthday memory was again when I was younger and my aunt planned my party because my mom was out of town.  But, she showed up right before I was about to blow out my candles and I just ran up to her.  I must have been 7 or 8.  

4 - What was your birthday "breakdown" year?
I guess I'm still waiting for this to happen.  Lord willing, I will celebrate my 36th birthday this year.  Every year before that, I was always blessed to have reached some sort of milestone before my age changed.  As long as I was living, active, and breathing, what was there to breakdown about?

5 - What is your favorite birthday meal?
My favorite birthday meal is anything that was prepared by my family.  I love home-cooked meals, special occasion or not. 

6 - What is your favorite birthday dessert?
Yellow cake with cream cheese icing or strawberry cake with cream cheese icing.  Just don't leave out the cream cheese icing - LOL! 

7 - How long do you celebrate your birthday?
I celebrate my birthday on my birthday.  If some friends or family members come to town who couldn't make it on that day, they would celebrate again that weekend...unless it falls on the weekend.

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I hope this post has given you a chance to know Demi just a little bit better.  Make sure you check out her blog and her Instagram page.  

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Birthday Series - Meet Toya!

I just love celebrating birthdays!  I think it's a time to learn and grow.  I also think it is a really great time to get to know some cool little quirks about some other people.  So here we go with getting to know the wonderful blogger, photographer, and mom Toya just a little bit better.  Here we go...




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1 - What has been your favorite birthday gift?
My favorite birthday gift would have to be my birthday this year (March 9).  My BF set up a surprise birthday dinner with my best friends.  If you know my bf, he cannot keep any type of surprise a secret and to know he actually called my friends and set it up without me knowing...I was shocked!

2 - What age did you have your favorite birthday party?
My 10th birthday party.  It was at Chucky Cheese, but back then, it was called Showbiz Pizza (I'm telling my age)!  So many of my friends from school showed up and we partied like we didn't have to go to school the next day! 

3 - What is your favorite birthday memory?
My dad singing happy birthday to me in his goofy way.  I truly miss those days.

4 - What was your birthday "breakdown" year?
When I turned 29.  I was a mess!  I felt like I accomplished nothing and felt, in a way, stuck between two different types of lives; thinking I should be married and have a child by that age and thinking I should have had a career that I loved by this time.

5 - What is your favorite birthday meal?
I'm torn between two meals: a nice big country fried steak with mashed potatoes, corn, and green beans or a big plate of coconut shrimp! 😉

6 - What is your favorite birthday dessert?
A nice gooey chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream,

7 - How long do you celebrate your birthday?
I usually just celebrate it for the whole week! 😄

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Ok, so remember earlier when I mentioned Toya was a blogger, photographer, and mom?  Well, you can get to share in a few of those things by following her on InstagramPinterest, and on her blog.  I hope this post has helped you learn a bit about her and that you take the time to check out her social media!  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Results

If you have been following my journey to a healthier me this year, you have seen that I have a few rules about how I am going about this.  I'm still eating what I want, just less of it.  I've learned moderation and thanks to LoseIt, I can keep track of all meals and workouts.  It just makes life a bit easier.  I don't think that is too weird.  Next, I have set small goals to help me reach my big goal.  I've been using my bullet journal for this and it is awesome!!!  I love coloring in my old weight and vowing to never go back to that weight.  However, that is more about control.  Not too strange, right?

Here is where I start to throw some people off.  I only weigh myself once a month.  I'm not a number on a scale, but I am liking results.  However, I don't want to get caught up with having to drag out my scale each week.  For some people, that works.  Me, not so much.  I weigh myself on the first day of the month in the morning before I shower.  Here is another thing I love to do around that same time, try on my camo jeans - you remember, the goal jeans for this weight loss journey.  I think it is fun to see how my body has changed and to see how much further I have to go.  But this past weekend, I had an unexpected surprise....

My mom wanted to buy me a dress for my birthday.  Cool.  So in thrilling mother - daughter fashion, we went shopping!  She and I both love Dress Barn.  There are some really nice finds in that store.  I also love the fact they are not an exclusive plus size or straight size store.  However, I have grown accustomed to knowing where I belong and going to the plus size section.  Hey, I know my truth!  

We walk in and I fall in love with a dress.  Yall, seriously, IN LOVE!!!  One of the associates broke the news to me, the one on the mannequin on that side of the store was the last one.  She looked to see what size it was and it was too big.  The search for the dress continued.  I picked out four dressed to try on.  You know, simply because I love options.  I loved everything I tried on, but nothing was like that dress I was never going to get to have.  One of the associates helping me didn't give up the good fight!  

She brings me a dress.  She brings me THE dress.  But....she brought me the dress from the straight size side of the store and it didn't have the "W" (aka wide) on the tag that I'm used to seeing.  My mom was sitting outside the dressing room door and I told her "I'm going to get stuck in this dress and we're going to have to pay for it because they're going to have to cut me out of it".  Honestly, the ONLY reason I tried on this dress was to prove to the associate that I could not fit the dress.  

Well, let's just say we ended up paying for the dress.  We paid for the dress.  We paid for the dress that came from the straight size section of the store because it fit, with a little bit more room to spare.  


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This is when I finally broke and told my mom that I had lost 10.9 pounds.  You probably don't think that is a lot between January 2 and March 1 of this year, but to me, that is marvelous!!! It's marvelous because, in some stores, I'm already down a size.  Yes, plus size shopping is ridiculous because nothing ever fits the same.  On the other hand, I'm really proud of myself and I'm proud of the other people who are on this same journey.  

It's a great day.  It was a great weekend.  It was the best birthday I had had in years and not just because of that dress...but I have to admit, that was a small part of it!   

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The birthday post

I don't know if you have been able to tell from my posts this week, but I've been doing some thinking.  I go through this twice a year - once for new year's eve and the next is for my birthday.  Well, we are a bit into the year now, so that must mean my birthday has arrived.  

There is a birthday series I would like to accomplish and I figured I should just start it off with my responses.  So, here goes....

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1 - What has been your favorite birthday gift?
I don't have a particular favorite gift, but instead it was a series of gifts.  For my 21st birthday, my mom bought me 21 different things.  I thought that was pretty neat.   

2 - What age did you have your favorite birthday party?
I can't remember, maybe it was 10.  However, I do remember that the theme was Lion King.  Yep, it was pretty awesome.  

3 - What is your favorite birthday memory?
This one happened in more recent years.  My dad surprised me in my new city and showed up with the exact ride I had told him I was planning on purchasing.  

4 - What was your "birthday breakdown" year?
I had no desire to turn 29.  Not really sure why it was that year that hurt so much, but I absolutely hated the thought of turning 29.  Even when we took the family photo during our outing, I didn't even crack a smile.  

5 - What is your favorite birthday meal?
Both of my parents are extremely great cooks.  Now since I've moved away, when I do go visit them to celebrate my birthday, whatever they cook me is perfectly fine.
6 - What is your favorite birthday dessert?  
It's no secret that I have a sweet tooth.  However, I love my aunt's homemade pound cake and my mom's chocolate delight.  Don't worry, I only have one for my birthday.  

7 - How long do you celebrate your birthday?
I celebrate my birthday for a month.  My mom takes blame for that because she says when I was younger, she and my dad would celebrate my birthday for a week.  As I got older, the celebration got longer.  

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Well, there you have it.  If you are interested in being part of this series, send me a DM on twitter or send me an email.  I'll be happy to add you to the list!!!  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Last day of...

This is the final day at a certain age.  LOL!!!  Seriously, it hasn't been a bad year, but I do have to say it's been a rough year of growth.  That probably doesn't make a lot of sense to you, but this is the only thing that makes sense to me.  

There are some things in life that I've managed to make peace with.  There are some things I will never have and I understand that I will never have them.  I don't really get it and there are some things we're not supposed to get, but there is a peace about it.  There are some things I'm going to have, but it's going to take me a little bit longer to get them (and that's cool).  Then there are some things I'll get right now and not have to wait another moment.  

I have goals.  I have dreams.  There are some things that I've already worked hard for - my career and this blog being two of them.  And that is what brings us here today.  

For my entire adult life, I have been absolutely career oriented.  It has taken me a minute to realize that fact.  When in my early and mid 20s, the only thing I cared about was graduating from college and getting a job in my field of study.  In my mid and late 20s, the only thing I cared about was starting a career and making sure I did a good job with this blog.  Now that I've reached my early 30s, I care about making this blog better and continuing to climb the ladder in my career (while shattering a few glass ceilings in the process).  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being career driven, but at what cost?  What have I missed out on?

I've turned down dates because of first impressions.  I've turned down potential friendships because of first impressions.  I've turned down job opportunities because some family didn't think it was a good decisions.  I've turned down travel opportunities.  I've turned down things that I probably shouldn't have turned down, but I'm pretty sure some things just weren't meant to be.  

As I embark on another year in my 30s, I just want to take this opportunity to take a deep breath and enjoy life that is around me.  I don't know how many more years I have left, but I am looking forward to whatever this journey has left to offer.  


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

To my former self

This weekend, I get the pleasure of climbing a bit further into my 30s.  That seems weird to me because concerning place in life and a bit of emptiness I constantly feel, I truly feel like I'm in my 20s and have so much time to get all of this stuff accomplished.  But the fact of the matter is that I don't and I don't know if some things are ever going to be in the cards for me.  However, as I continue to get a little bit wiser, I keep learning things and wishing I had known some things.  Since I'm not quite sure that I'll ever have someone of my own to pass along knowledge to, I figured I would tell some things to my former self.  


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1 - It's OK to cry.  It's good for the soul.  
2 - Never let someone hurt you to the point that your lose yourself.
3 - Just because your baby died, it doesn't mean you're not a mom.
4 - You don't have to know what you want to do with your life when people expect you to know.  It may take a little while.
5 - Stop being ashamed of your body.  I promise you that you're not as big as what you think you are. 
6 - Wear whatever you want.  You have a style of your own.
7 - The only competition you need to worry about winning is the one where you are competing against yourself. 
8 - People are going to pick at you for being smart.  That's perfectly fine.  Just don't dumb yourself down for them.
9 - Your boobs are going to get bigger, so get used to it.
10 - Moving away is the best thing you're ever going to do.  Quite frankly, you should have done it sooner!  
11 - A photo on social media doesn't mean a thing!
12 - You are a DIVA. Just own it.
13 - You are perfect, just how you are.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Puff Cuff Review

Disclaimer:  I have not been paid to endorse this product.  This is something that was recommended to me and I decided to give it a try.  Post is NOT sponsored! 

The week of March 6 - March 10, I decided to dedicate my week to wearing hair styles I could only accomplish with the help of my puff cuff.  I've had my family (yes, I ordered the seven cuffs family pack) of puff cuffs for about a month and been playing around with styles.  Well, this was the week I really decided to put them to the test - getting up to style my hair before work and seeing how much time it would take or if my styling would cause me to run into traffic because it took too long.  

Let me get something out of the way - although this is a hair post, I'm not talking products.  I want this post to be totally dedicated to The Puff Cuff.  However, I will give you information concerning products upon request.  Also, it is important for you to know that I have 4b / 4c natural hair.  It's thick, coily, and most days it does whatever it feels like doing.      

Now, without further ado, let's talk about my week in my cuffs!  Ah yes, to make my mornings easier, each night I divide my hair into what I call the four corners and have four double strand (yes, they are thick) twists.  Don't worry, you can sleep on these with no problem.  Ok, now that we talked about what I do at night, let's get to this work day style!   

MONDAY

This was a last minute decision for this style.  Like, when I say last minute decision, I was getting ready to style it into something else and when I got in the first cuff, I just sort of went with it.  I have NEVER finger curled my hair because I do not have the patience for it, but for these bangs, I was able to manage.  In order to get this style, I only had to use the junior size.  So, you see I basically put my hair in a puffy ponytail and let my coils do the rest.  The second half of my hair was left to just freely do its own thing.  The best part, I worked out while keeping this style - just pinned up the bangs and broke a solid sweat for 30 minutes.  This style was a hit at the office and it lasted all day - even in the AM rain that was totally unexpected!  So, this might be something I do again...might even finger twist this hair all over, but let me not get ahead of myself.  Don't worry, if I decide to do that, there will be a post!   

TUESDAY

You will be happy to know that I knew what style I was wearing to work the night before.  No last minute decisions, just something simple.  Plus, this worked out great because I slept in an extra ten minutes and didn't want to rush through anything else.  What you have probably noticed is that I have on two different outfits.  Yes, two!  Why?  Well, my puff stood the test of time and got me through my work day, as well as an impromptu night out (with a workout in between).  How awesome is that?  My puff survived the entire day, without giving me a headache.  I'm a migraine sufferer, so having to keep my hair in that giant band all day was not the business.  However, I don't be in a rush to my car after work to give my hair a break because the puff cuff doesn't hurt my edges or give me a headache.  Quite frankly, I can't even tell it is in my head with this style, which is a far cry from how the rubber band had me feeling.  To achieve this look, I used the puff cuff original size.  Also, it was raining while I was walking back to my car after my evening out and it didn't matter because I was on my way home, but my hair remained perfectly fine.   

WEDNESDAY

My favorite day of the week had finally arrived and I tried my hand at the beautiful mohawk.  To achieve the bump up front, I just used a few clips.  I had on jeans that day, so I decided to wear blue clips to go along with the outfit.  I like this style because it is so simple...at least to me it is.  I ended up using three different size clips (junior, mini, and micro) for this look and it all depended on how much I grabbed in my hands.  I had to keep fluffing it before I left my place in the morning, but this style stayed up all day!  I didn't work out Wednesday, but I did come in and do a lot of house work.  I tend to do my best cleaning when I'm aggravated and Wednesday, I was on level leave me the hell alone!  However, even after sweating through cleaning, my hair stayed up.  If I had wanted to go out afterwards, all I would have had to do was add some moisturizer and leave!  

THURSDAY

For the life of me, I could not get this styled right!  People at the office loved it, but I feel like I could have done better.  Ok, maybe it isn't the style, but if I would have had some cute clips to add to my hair.  Got it - I know what I'm adding to my shopping list for my next hair trip.  This style was actually quite simple, until it was time for me to use my puff cuff clamp.  Not because the clamp was hard to use, but I was trying to hold a puff, hold together very loose twists, and get my hair to meet where I needed it to meet.  After a brief fight, everything finally got into place!  Actually, my favorite part about this style is the two twists up front.  I think it just added something to the regular fro or puff I could have worn.  The puff cuff stayed in place, even though it was going around the two twists.  I tried two sizes during the styling process, but I ended up going with the mini.  I'm guessing had I done more puff and less twists, the junior would have been needed.  Again, it's all about how much hair you grab!  

FRIDAY

I think I saved my cutest style for the weekend.  Or maybe it was the fact I had an event at work.  I don't know, but I really enjoyed this look!!!  The puff in the back was achieved by using the junior size.  Again, it all depends on how much hair you want to put up.  I started my style by doing the puff.  Once in, I did some finger twists in the front to give the people something to look at.  Due to it actually storming when I left for the office, I really didn't want to fight my hair in my face, so I decided to pull all of it towards the puff.  I'm sure it would have looked great leaving some of the twists down up front, but we'll just have to find out later.  This style lasted through a workout as well.  I didn't feel like taking it down because I was just tired.  However, it does feel great to know that if I had needed to run an errand after working out, my hair would have still looked fine!  Nothing a few sprays of moisturizer cannot fix!  

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Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was my week in the puff cuff!  Each style that you see was complete in twenty minutes or less.  Keep in mind, I told you what I do at night to make my hair and I get along better in the mornings.  Depending on what you do to your hair at night will determine the outcome of your morning routine.  

So, what do I think of this product?  In my opinion, this product is a lifesaver!!!  My hair doesn't get pulled out, I don't have a headache at the end of the day, and it's super simple to use.  It honestly doesn't get much better than that!  Also, if you like that extra bit of sleep in the mornings, this product makes those extra ten minutes possible because styling hair has been made so simple.  

If you are up to trying something new to help you style your hair, I highly recommend the puff cuff.  Please take a moment to visit there website.  There is so much on their page, including a blog and styling tips!  Someone recommended this product to me and I am so happy I listened to them!  Now, it's my turn to pass along the recommendation to you!  Happy styling!!!  

Friday, March 10, 2017

Wait on it

Have you ever wanted something and in the most weird way, your sort of got it?  That happened to me this week.  I don't want to say that I had been waiting for a sign, but I definitely had been waiting on something to let me know it's fine.  In a way I never expected, I earned a freedom that I've been craving.  

I guess this came so perfectly.  I was here in a place I didn't want to be in.  I thought I was losing myself, but slowly, but surely, I'm coming back.  I'm enjoying some quiet time in the evenings.  That's giving me a chance to write in my journal, blog, and work on my book.  I've also taken a chance to relax and enjoy my life.  My time is only three hours in the afternoon after work, but it's good for me.  It's amazing how such a small change in your day can help you feel like your feet are back on the ground.  Wonder what will next week bring?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Blogger Recognition Award

I feel like I'm walking the blogger red carpet.  Another award in such a short time.  OMG - believe me when I tell you I'm honored.  I've worked hard in this blog for the past (almost) 4 years and even when I went away, yall stayed.  I am so thankful for all of you and each time you give me a little recognition, it makes me want to do and be better.  

Well, without further ado, I guess I need to get to why you are all here!  The very talented Theo from The Curl Prince blog nominated me for this great honor and I am so thankful!!!  💛💛💛  I think you should go check him out and give him and his blog a follow.  
As usual, there are some rules I have to follow and I'm getting ready to handle that part. 


I'm going to keep this short.  This award means so much to me!  Not because people are finally starting to recognize my work, but because I feel like I am finally in a league of some of the bloggers I admire.  You set goals as a blogger - posts you want to write, events you want to attend, page views, comments on your post, and don't even get me started on social media!  But when you get the chance to be seen in a way such it this, it just means so much because it makes you feel like all your hard work has not been in vain.  So thank you so much for allowing me into your life - one post, tweet, or instagram post at a time.  For putting up with me, even on my worst days, you are the real MVP!  

Why did I start this blog?  That's quite simple - for this blog, I had some great people telling me I should start this particular blog.  I have had three other blogs, but they didn't last.  This one though, all of you keep pushing me and I never want to leave!  You're stuck with me now! 


Who am I getting ready to nominate for this award?  Don't worry, the wait is over!  Here are my nominations (in no particular order)! 

1 - Amara
2 - Madison
3 - Theodora
4 - Sysy
5 - Maddie
6 - Linda
7 - Kellie
8 - Chlo
9 - Nadine
10 - Mollie
11 - Clem
12 - Elen
13 - Mary
14 - Demi
15 - Louise


Now that you see your name on my list, you are probably wondering exactly what you have to do next.  No fear - I'm getting ready to tell you right now!!!  

~~~ Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide and link to their blog ~~~
~~~ Write a post about your award ~~~
~~~ Give a brief story on why you started your blog ~~~
~~~ Select 15 bloggers you want to give this award to ~~~
~~~ Let each person know that you have nominated them for this award ~~~ 

See that's pretty simple right?  I think so too and I look forward to hearing what you have to say about your award.  Happy writing, bloggers!  Congratulations!!! 




Monday, March 6, 2017

Music Monday - February Edition

February was a good music month for me.  I have put together my favorite seven songs that I listened to this past month.  They are not in any particular order, so here goes...



1 - Can You Stand the Rain
My absolute favorite song by New Edition.  So, I'm guessing after I kept watching that particular scene, it just made me want to hear that song over and over again.  For the rest of February, that was my jam  Even my mom mentioned about how much she enjoyed it!

2 - Broken Vessels
This is one of my favorite Christian songs by Hillsong.  Each time I used to hear it at church, it would just do something to me.  Now when I listen to it at home, it has the same effect.  I'm sure I'll listen to it again soon!

3 - Fly Away From Here
I'm not sure when I first heard this song from Aerosmith, but it's been on my iPod for years.  Last week, it randomly popped up while I was driving and I did one of my classic concerts in the car.  It was the perfect drive home.

4 - When I'm Gone
For those of you who don't know, I love me some Eminem!!!  Not a fan of his early stuff, but Curtain Call did it for me!  This song is why I purchased this album and I'm glad I did! 

5 - Every Time I Close My Eyes
I was driving out of the parking deck last week and this song popped in my head.  I hadn't head it in forever.  This song is somewhere at my parents' house on a cassette.  You know, back when we had to wait for the song to play on the radio for us to record it.  Omg, it's so beautiful.  One of the most perfect songs I've ever heard.  

6 - Night Train
You all know there is a little country in me!  I remember when I first heard this song.  It was a few years ago and we were riding to a job site.  I had no clue who sang the song, so I asked my coworker.  That night, I added the song to my library.  Now, when it randomly pops up on my iPod during a trip, I have to turn my volume up!  

7 - Mercy
I have not been shy about not being able to stand a particular song by Shawn Mendes, but this song right here is simply amazing.  He's singing from the bottom of his heart and there is nothing wrong with that!  To me, this truly showed Mendes as an artist.  I wish this would have been his first single, but this was worth the wait. 

♯   ♯   ♯

Well, now you know what I was listening to last month!  I hope you enjoyed this post.  I think Music Monday might me something I start doing the first Monday of the month.  What do you think?  



Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Liebster Award

You all know that I love each post that I do because it's my work.  I just love to write.  It's just what I do, when I'm not being a civil engineer during the day.  But this is a special post to me.  This is the first time I've ever been nominated for an award.  I don't think you understand the joy in my heart right now as I type this post because it is just so exciting.  

Thank you so much to the wonderful and talented Demi for nominating me, along with 10 other highly talented bloggers.  



Well, now that I have probably bored you with the introduction, let's get to why you are really here - to know some answers to some pretty cool questions.  What did Demi ask me?

1 - What is your biggest goal for 2017?
Did we have to start off with such a hard question?  Oh - em -ghee!!!  I guess my biggest goal for 2017 would be for me to not go on a month long break from my blog.  I know taking breaks is a great thing and I advise people to take them, but when I used to take month long breaks, I felt like I lost touch with my readers and that hurt.  Last year, I learned how to take breaks, but not totally go in hiding.  Quite frankly, I attribute that to having a better handle on my anxiety.  Hopefully, I will keep with this trend and you will continue to see consistent post in this blog!

2 - Are you a reader? If so, what is your favorite genre?  
I love to read.  However, I don't have a favorite genre.  I read things that get my attention.  I like to go in bookstores and just stroll the aisles until I find a cover (yes, cover) and title that gets my attention.  After that, I flip over to the back and if I get really intrigued, I check out a few pages.  That's how I decide what I want to read.  You can look in my own personal collection at home and on my Kindle and think "huh", but  it's just me!  

3 - Quick pick: sun, moon, or stars?
This is particularly hard because I have stars tattooed on my foot and a crescent moon tattooed on my leg.  However, if I had to pick one, it would be the stars.  Growing up in the country away from lights, I would go outside and just look at them.  Honestly, even when I visit my parents now, I love going to lie in the bed of my dad's truck and do the same.  Yes, that's it - definitely the stars.  

4 - What inspires you to write in your blog the most?
People.  By far, people.  Although I'm an Unorthodox Introvert, I love people.  I just love people in small doses.  We're all pretty interesting if we take the time to get to know each other a little bit better.  I hope you have grown to know me in this blog and I hope that in my blog life and in my daily life, I've taken the chance to know the people around me.  

5 - If you could be any celebrity for a day, who would you be and why?
Because I adore her so much, it would have to be Britney Spears.  I know that has thrown you for a loop and you are probably thinking "what in the hell".  Let me explain myself.  I've been a fan of Britney since she first arrived on the scene.  I have a playlist totally dedicated to her and I proudly listen to it at least once a week.  When she shaved her head, I was worried.  However, as I have grown older, I understand her breakdown, especially since I suffer from my own anxiety issues.  That award show she performed on that year that was definitely not up to par, I felt bad for her because that just wasn't her and we know that wasn't her.  When she lost her kids, I hurt for her because no parent who is trying wants to go through that.  However, when she started her Vegas show, which I would love to see, I could only think that she was back and I am so glad she is back!  Talk about appearing to hit rock bottom, but then able to come back.  That in itself is a blessing and no one can take that away from her. 

6 - If your life were a sitcom, who would play you?
She would have to get a little bit older, but I think Marsai Martin (Diane on Black-ish) could pull me off very well.  In order to play that character, you have to embody some of what that character is.  She's blunt.  She says what she needs to say and hurt feelings along the way.  She's a diva.  She's got style.  Hair is on point. But at the end of the day, she has a love for the people around her, even if they do tear up her nerves.  And even though she doesn't want to really admit it because she has to keep up the tough exterior, she does have a bit of a soft side.  That's just how it is...and that is me! 

7 - What cartoon character would best describe your personality?
Ok, now that I think about it, question 1 was not that bad!  Cartoon character?  I'm probably going to age myself, but I think I have to go with Ashley Spinelli (simply known as Spinelli) on Recess.  This chick right here did not mess around and was ready to fight to protect her friends at any cost.  I don't like it when people mess with me, but I cannot stand it when people are bothering my friends.  She also was bold and was never afraid to speak her mind.  She said what she had to say and that was that!

8 - What is you favorite season and why?
Hands down, my favorite season is Winter!  I love cold weather.  I live in the South, so I don't get much snow, but when I do, I turn into a big kid!  I love wrapping up in a blanket.  I love crocheting blankets during this time of year because when I get cold, my own creation keeps me warm.  I love my thick socks.  I love wearing my sweats.  Ok, and one final thing - I was born in the winter.  

9 - What is your favorite dish?
I don't really have a favorite dish.  I was blessed enough to grow up in a household where both my parents could cook and they both cook very well.  In fact, I just put in my orders for the foods I expect for my birthday.  So, if I just had to choose, it would be my mom's cubed steak, with mac and cheese or potatoes, which broccoli, and cornbread.  My dad makes the best lasagna I've ever tasted.  Seriously, can't go wrong!  

10 - Tell us your ultimate dream vacation?
 I feel like I take my ultimate dream vacay each year because I try my best to spend a week on the beach each year.  Last week, I spent two weeks at two different beaches.  It was awesome.  Let's see if that can happen again this year.

11 - Describe the perfect outfit for a night on the town.
When I'm going out, I keep it simple - basic black or another solid color.  Partly because I can do any color of accessories with black and when I'm going out, my favorite part is trying to figure out what shoes and jewelry I'm going to wear.  Plus, if you know me, you know that I love eye shadow, so setting off my black outfit with a colorful eye shadow just gives me life.


In other words, the hard part is done!  Here is the part I have been waiting for - nominations!!!

I have gotten the chance to get to know some pretty cool bloggers and it's a bummer that I can only do 11, but here goes.  I nominate the following people...

1 - Marie
2 - Stephanie
3 - Amie
4 - Ms. Jey
6 - Martha
7 - Tisha
8 - Heather
9 - MJ
10 - Jessika
11 - Theo

Ok, now that I've gotten those 11 fabulous bloggers nominated, time to get to these 11 questions!

1 - If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
2 - What is your favorite color?
3 - If you had a chance to be a Disney Prince or Princess, who would you be and why?
4 - What is your favorite movie?
5 - What is your favorite thing to do, other than blog of course?
6 - Are you a morning or afternoon person?
7 - If you had the chance to be anywhere in the world at this very moment, where would you be and why?
8 - What's your favorite animal?
9 - What has been your favorite vacation?
10 - If you had 24 hours left to live, who would you go see and why?
11 - Where do you do your best brainstorming?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, this sums off this blog post!  AHHHHH!!!!!  Again, thank you Demi for this beautiful nomination.  For my 11, I look forward to seeing your posts!  

Happy writing!!!!  

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Give it up

Each year, I do my best to give up something for Lent.  In the past, I've given up chewing gum, candy, soft drinks (which turned into a lifestyle change), fasted during certain hours of the day, and probably some other stuff that is not coming to me right now.  However, this year, I decided to do something different. 



Since my vacation in October 2016, I've been thinking about my life as a whole and trying to have a better understanding as to why I'm here.  I believe I have things to do, people to see, and places to go.  I haven't quite wrapped my head around all of this yet, but I just know this is how my life is supposed to be.  For 2017, instead of setting resolutions, I decided to set goals.  For instance, I want one of my bills completely paid off this year (and I'm almost there).  I also want to meet certain social media goals for this blog.  There is an ultimate weight loss goal, but that's not what is important to me right now (even though I am actively working out and meal planning).  However, there is something else.  

I want to devote more time to doing this - blogging.  I want to devote more time to crafting.  I want to devote more time to reading.  So for Lent, I have decided to block out 3 hours of my after work day to my place being a non TV zone.  Music only!  I've been doing this since the start of Lent (yes, I'm fully aware it is only a few days), but I can already see a difference.  

In these past few days, I've started working on crafts, I've been more active in my bullet journal, I'm doing better at staying on top of my schedule, and I have even (finally) started working on my book...even though someone had to give me an extra push.  

No matter what you decided to give up for Lent, I hope it makes some type of change in your life.  I can already see a positive change in mine and looking forward to seeing how much I get done during this season.  

What did you give up for Lent?