Friday, June 23, 2017

The back and forth

Different kind of post today.  Honestly, I just need to vent.  Now, don't start with me by saying....

But Shayla, you're supposed to be having #100HappyDays!

I'm fully aware of that.  I don't need a reminder and we are on day 3!  Ok, back to what has brought me here.  Etiquette!  So simple, yet I'm starting to find some people are not using it!  
Bloggers, let's be real, we already struggle.  We get those people who have NO CLUE to time and effort it takes to blog.  Blogging is not just about getting some stuff written.  There's photos, graphics, planning, tweeting, instagram, and sometimes just finding the inspiration is a chore in itself.  I get there when brands play with our emotions that is annoying, but I need one small favor...


There is a way to say things.  There is also a way to NOT say things.  Yesterday, I really liked how one blogger posted her tweet.  She didn't slam the brand, she just said what she thought and she let it go.  Cool.  Well done!  

UNLESS you are on your own blog page, please do not call out people...unless you are giving them a warning that you are going to call them out!  

I had an issue with a clothing store.  I had been playing phone tag with them trying to get an answer as to why they wouldn't honor a refund for a torn item.  Clothes are supposed to last more than one wash.  After playing this phone game, I tweeted them and told then that I would do a post about my experience in 48 hours if I didn't hear from them.  That's all I said.  I let my blog do the talking.  

You don't want to mess it up for other bloggers because some brands, especially those just starting out, are still trying to figure out exactly what they want to do.  We had to take time to grow our blogs, brands deserve the same thing.  This doesn't happen overnight!  

However, brands, let's just be real - if you are working with someone, at least give them a shoutout on your social media.  You basically require all of us to tag you, "at" you, or give you some type of recognition in the post itself.  We took the time to work with you, show us some love back!  We're not all looking for free stuff!  I've purchased EVERYTHING I have ever reviewed and I've only had ONE brand give me a shout and feature me on their instagram.  It's a little disheartening, but I (and my fellow bloggers) keep going.  

Blogging is rough!  But I have to say, this has been one of my most fun experiences ever.  I hope I never get tired of doing it.  Writing is just what I do!  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

100 days and counting

About 3 years ago, there was this thing trending called #100HappyDays!  I really wanted to be involved, so of course, I jumped in.  I think I made it to day 43 and I just stopped.  I couldn't take it anymore.  It's not because I didn't want to do it anymore, I honestly couldn't do it anymore.  

In 2014, I was in a bad place.  I felt like my world was crashing around me and that my life was out of my control.  I was ready to end it all and one day, those thoughts turned into actual tries.  I was crying myself to sleep each night and showing up to work (or wherever I needed to be the next day) with a smile on my face like nothing was wrong.  I only did that challenge to mask what was going on and to try to make myself happy.  That's not what the challenge was intended to do.  

I realized somewhere in between 2014 and now that you have to find the happiness.  It's not just going to be given to you.  There is a not a fairy each morning that comes to you and says be happy.  That's not how it works.  

You actually have to find your happiness each morning and throughout the day.  

One morning, we can wake up feeling less than perfect, but we should be happy we are at least alive.  We can show up to work and that one person that irks you can start with you before you even sit at your desk, but we should be happy we are employed.  There are going to be days when it feels as if life is just dragging you along, but we should be happy that we have the opportunity to learn from the experience.  

I'm starting my new #100HappyDays on June 21 aka tomorrow!  Why?  Well, that's the first day of summer and if you actually know anything about me, you know this is the season I hate most.  Since I have to find my happy, why not challenge myself and do it during the time of year I hate the least?  Time to find some good in this heat and humidity.  

You are welcome to join me on this journey and even if you don't join, I hope you at least watch me as I strive to make it past day 43.  Here's to 100 Happy Days and so many more!  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Future Fashion Figures

Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about how something from the past changed the course of this blog in the (then) present day.  Not to give away my post (because I would love for you to check it out), but basically a blast from my past came to my mind and I just had to write about it.  It's something that helped shaped me and I'm so happy I was able...well, that's enough.  

But that's just it - a blast from my past.  It wasn't that long ago.  Contrary to popular belief, two decades isn't that long of time.  In the grand scheme of things, we could even argue that a century is a short time.  I mean, if a person lives that long, we consider that a long life, but if we are in a history class that is discussing the Roman Empire, or maybe even all the wars, a century is a just a drop in the bucket.  It's what changes during the period of time that makes it great.  

I bet that if you told your grandparents twenty years ago that present day, we would not have to go to the store to buy our music, they would have looked at you like you were crazy.  I also bet that if you would have told your grandparents that styles from the sixties and seventies were coming back, they would have laughed.  But the fact of the matter, things are back.  

Whether or not you want to believe it, a waist trainer (also used for working out) is nothing but a glorified corset from the 1550s.  During that time, it was seen as something to shape the body because being thick (in any place) was not seen as a good thing.  Today, it's used to get the body into a desired shape.  What a difference design has made.  Some waist trainers are so unique, they are being worn out in public without the need to have a top or dress over them.  The initial design made them functional, the newest design made them fashionable.  Talk about making a comeback, right?

Let's not forget about the cell phone.  We've come a long way from the phone in the box or the landline that had the long cord so you could walk around your house and talk.  Today, the design of the phone (cell or landline) in general has come down to one little thing - space.  If your cell phone is in your pocket, you don't want it to look extra bulky in your jeans.  If you are one of the few (in the grand scheme of things) people to still have a landline phone, you don't want it taking it valuable space on your counters, desk, or wherever you choose to place them.  And since we are on technology, we CANNOT forget about computers.  Long gone are the days when the computer literally took up an entire room.  Take this post for example, I drafted it on a tablet with an eleven inch screen and typed it on a laptop with a seventeen inch screen.  In my lifetime, which is just over three decades, I've seen computers only barely fit on a desk to using two devices to make this post that I can fit into a pocketbook and use anywhere.  

If you don't believe change is here, just look at fashion choices today!  Since I'm a plus size lady, let's talk plus size fashion.  I've always been a plus diva, even in my younger days.  So, you might also know that I grew up being forced to wear dark colors.  Why?  It had nothing to do with what I could wear, but it had EVERYTHING to do with what was being designed.  We all know black is a slimming color and designers just ran with that - black clothes that looked like a trash bag and didn't hug my body in any of the right places.  But today, oh yes today, we have some wonderful designers breaking that mold and showing up that colors are in, prints are where it is at, and the way to have a bikini body is to wear a bikini on what ever body you have.  Let me just take a moment to salute Ashley Nell TiptonGabi Gregg, and Nadia Aboulhosn for the work they have done in the plus size fashion industry.  

Notice a trend here?  My heart is in fashion!  I love clothes (and pocketbooks).  I just can't help myself.  Even when I talked about the cell phones, tablets, and laptops, I made reference to it not being so bulky in jeans or having a cute bag that matches my outfit to carry around my tech supplies.  Here's the thing about fashion design - the future of it is already here.  Right now, there is some child (yes, a child) thinking of a way to design a high heel that is not only sexy, but more comfortable.  Someone is already looking into ways to keep evolving the corset until it doesn't exactly feel like you are squeezing all your organs together.  There is even someone chomping at the bit to design a more compact cell phone that won't stick out so far.  

Many of us reading this will probably be here to see those things happen, but I think it is safe to assume, it's coming.  Even if it takes one hundred years, when it comes to the big picture, that will be lightning fast.  

Please note: This blog post is part of the Blogging Competition organized by CGTrader.  Please check out the contest opportunity and rules at

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Gown Up - Final Edition

So, we have finally reached the finish line of this blog series.  I've enjoyed it and I hope you have been able to take stock of your own life as you take the opportunity to travel through mine.  Without further ado, here are items 8 through 10!  

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8. You regret the mistakes you've made in the past
This is a hard one because my past is what has shaped me into the person I am today.  Quite frankly, it's given me some pretty good blog material.  Do I hate that I had a child in my second year of college?  Yes, but that's because it wasn't in the plan.  Do I regret that experience of his death?  Nope, because I've already been able to help someone through their own stillbirth of their first child.  As I look back on my life at this moment I'm typing this post, the only thing I regret is staying in relationships longer than I was supposed to be there.  If you need further explanation, go back and check out of the previous post.  

9. You always miss your childhood, family, and your loved ones
Well, this part may hurt a few feelings.  I do have moments of missing my childhood.  I miss the innocence of it and not being tainted by the real world.  Concerning my family, I tend to miss my parents more than anything.  However, I also enjoy the freedom of having my space from them because they did what they were supposed to do - raise a decent lady to get out of their house and make a house of her own.  Just in case you were wondering, let's just skip over the loved ones because I see the loved ones I want to see when I want to see them.  

10. You feel lost, confused, and anxious about your future
I do.  I already have anxiety so not really knowing what the future holds is quite unnerving.  I mean, I keep a planner in order to keep this blog straight, so since I cannot do it with my life, it feel a bit strange.  However, I do believe that not knowing the future makes life worth living.  We have countless choices to make and that allows for each of us to have different paths.  The fact of the matter is this - ultimately, this life will end and how we choose to get there (also known as the dash) is ours for the taking.

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Well, this is it!  Another series is in the books!  I hope you enjoyed it and were able to get something out of it.  So, just out of curiosity, which one of the ten items made you think the most about your life?  

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Grown Up - Part 2

Ok, let's continue from Part 1.  If you are just joining me, here is a quick recap...I'm growing up, I found an article that interested me because it fit what is happening in my life right now, and life is just taking me on some interesting twist and turns.  Alright, back to it!  

4. It's hard for you to trust people
YUP!!!  I start everyone off on a trust level.  If you do something to me, it drops and as you continue to do stupidity around me, it will continue to drive me away.  I've been burned by so many people and I know everyone is not like them, but once it happens, it's hard to forget.  Even my friends, I trust them, but I'm also very watchful.  Unfortunately, this has cost some people along the way (notice I didn't say friends), but I am for the better.  

5. You always feel that your life is boring
I think this about my life.  But I'm ok.  This is the year I've been more focused on me and that has made it boring, especially to those around me.  You don't go out.  You don't do anything.  You're constantly working.  Yes to all of those.  But I don't need to be out all the time in order to be seen.  I have this blog.  I have my instagrams (yes, I'm announcing my new one in a few weeks)!  I am working on making this blog better.  I'm working on my crafts.  I'm working on growing my new business (yes, announcement coming in a few weeks as well).  If on the outside looking in that makes me boring, then boring I shall be! 

6. You are too familiar with the feeling of sadness
The article mentions about being at the lowest point in your life, but it also mentions something really great - you acknowledge that life is not always about being happy.  Life comes with ups and downs and I have learned to be grateful for those.  Life is hard.  If it were easy, it wouldn't be so much fun.  You learn from those down moments.  You learn from those rejections.  But in those low times, you learn that you can handle so much more than you ever thought you could ever hold.  

7. You always feel like you're running out of time
Some days, I truly amaze myself that I can sleep, go to work, get things ready for my blog, have a personal life, have a social life, and be a friend in 24 hours.  I feel like I'm running out of time to get married.  I feel like I'm running out of time to have a child.  I feel like I'm running out of time because everyone around me seems to be moving at the speed of light and I'm moving at a snail pace.  But I'm fine where I am...if I can just get my heart to figure that out.  I have as much time as I am allowed.  I don't know how much time that is, but I hope that I use what time I have left to make an important mark on this world. 

That's it for now.  We'll finish this up on Sunday at 9am EST!  What has these two post caused you think about? 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Grown Up - Part 1

I've been growing lately.  I've been paying for attention to my environment and getting to know the space around me.  I'm in my early 30s and I'm trying to understand my place in this life right now and I am finding it very interesting.  Recently, I read an article from Thought Catalog titled 10 Uncomfortable Signs You're Actually Becoming the Person You're Supposed To Be.  This, and the next two blog posts, will explain my version of this article because I found it very interesting.

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1. You do everything by yourself and feel isolated from others
I make no apologies for loving to do things by myself.  I love taking myself out to eat.  I enjoy taking solo vacays.  I also enjoy just taking a day trip and enjoying some sights.  However, I do no feel isolated from others.  I hang out with who I wish to hang out with.  I don't call that isolation - I call that being comfortable with myself enough to know who I need to be around and who I do not need to be around.  I guess I can call that getting wiser because some of the people who I enjoyed in my 20s will not get to travel along the journey with me in my 30s.

2. You realize that you have some issues with yourself
If I've done anything in my 30s, it is FINALLY accepting the fact I have anxiety.  It was so hard for me to handle this in my 20s, but right now, I'm handling it the best way I know how.  Another issue I have with myself is I'm always taking care of other people, instead of taking care of myself.  This change has only come within the past couple of months, but I'm happy that I'm now learning to stand up for myself and saying NO and not getting guilt tripped into doing things that make me uncomfortable.  

3. You have a strong desire to cut off some unnecessary relationships
Currently, my cut off game is the strongest it has ever been.  I'm having a great time doing it too.  Some people just do not have your best interest at heart and the sooner you realize that, the better off you are going to be.  And yes, you're going to have to cut of some family.  I've had to do this in the past couple of years and I'm ok with that, especially since I have the support of my parents in doing so.  Just because you share the same blood doesn't mean you share the same mindset and values. 

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I'll let you think about this first three.  We'll discuss the next four in Friday's post.  

Monday, June 5, 2017

Music Monday - May Tunes

So, it was a rather interesting May when it came to my music selection.  In between my iPod, Amazon, and just hearing stuff on the radio, it was absolutely awesome! So, here is the list of what was played most during the past month!  

And there you have it. What were you listening to last month?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

June Goals

I'm figuring if I write out these goals, even though some stay private, yall will help hold me accountable.  Here are some goals for the beautiful month of June!

1 - Not be in the red on any day on my LoseIt app!  
This is the app I use to help me count calories and lose weight.  I've plateaued the past two months and I am just not feeling it.  One thing that I noticed is that I had more red days than normal (which means I ate more than my allotted calories, even if I worked out).  This month, that WILL be different.  

2 - Make some bows
I wish I could tell you more about this right now, but you're just going to have to bear with me.  Let me get some things ready for these party favors and I'll be happy to share with you!  
3 - Go to a baseball game
My minor league team is the Columbia Fireflies.  The stadium is perfect and I just love the atmosphere.  I have to go this month because I haven't been to a game yet!!!  

I realize these are probably super minor to you, but these are what I'm striving for this month.  Let's just hope I can get them all done.  
What is a goal you have for the month of June?

Friday, June 2, 2017

May goals - Update

Goals are made to not be kept, right?  Nah, sometimes it just takes a little bit longer to get some things done.  Fact of the matter is that goals teach patience and help us to realize that we are NOT in a right now phase in life.  So, how did I do with my goals?  Keep reading to find out!  

1 - Lose 5 pounds
Didn't happen.  On the second month of the plateau, but I think I have a handle on what I need to do to change it up.  

2 - Buy wedding shoes
Well, I went to the store to get them and they were not in my size.  They are actually being ordered this weekend and I'm happy about that.  As long as they are here in time for me to bling them out, I'm good.

3 - Finish one chapter of my book
This actually happened!  I'm proud of this accomplishment because it's a hard book to write.  It's making me dive back into my past, but it did happen and it helped to shape me into who I am today.  

4 - Treat myself to a date
I treated myself to a few dates!  I just couldn't resist.  It's always good to get some alone time and see what's really going on in your head.

5 - Attend my church 3 times this month
I actually made it to church every Sunday this month and only one of them was away from my church.  Goal met!!!  

What do I have in store for June?  Check out the next post, arriving Sunday, June 4 at 9am EST to find out!