Wednesday, December 31, 2014

No Romance Without Finance!


Ok, it is not what you think! This post is about getting in tune with finances! You really cannot live the way you want if your finances are not in order. I am trying to get used to real budgeting. Before this year, I did not have to. It is extremely important to be honest with yourself and not put off paying bills that you can!  So I wanted to share these tips from the great Dave Ramsey.

Below is complete cut and paste from www.daveramsey.com


Sit down and evaluate.

Take a few minutes to look at your bank accounts and really understand what you see. If you don't, you run the high risk of living these next few months like Gomer Pyle on Valium, with no clue about your money. You don't want that, do you?

Update your game plan or start one for the first time.

A budget is your game plan, where you tell your money what you want it to do. This isn't rocket science! Just give every dollar a name on paper before you get your paycheck so it won't all be gone in a week. Get free budgeting forms here.

Put cash in envelopes.

Since you spend 12-15% more when you use plastic than when you use cash, try the envelope system. Take some envelopes, write the budget categories on the envelopes, and use only the allotted money to purchase specific things. If an envelope is empty, don't buy anything else in that category for the month. It can wait.

Set boundaries for yourself and your family.

A lot of this centers around the ability to say the word NO and really mean it! Sometimes you're going to have to tell yourself, your spouse, and your kids "NO! It's not in the budget!" so be prepared. It's a phrase you'll be glad you know how to say.

Start saving NOW for Halloween and Christmas!

Now is the time to start planning and setting aside any money you want to spend around these huge retail seasons. Make a list and commit to sticking to it! If you start now, you can keep these holidays from following you into next year!



Monday, December 29, 2014

Organization and Reflection- Closet first!

Hey loves. I am stopping by to help myself and possibly you too. This is the time of year when we try to get ready for the next year. All of the wishes, plans, and hopes that we did not achieve or attain in 2014, we add on to them for the next. For some we simply say to hell with the things we did not do and on to the next!

I know I have to get organized! My whole life needs some rearranging and organization. As I reflect on 2014, I let myself dwell on all of the things I lost and did not have the means to do and did not do anything! So I am starting today!

This week will be a series of projects. One of this week's tasks is to really clean,organize, and remodel my closet. I have so much that I cannot wear, or have not worn and it just sits there waiting on inches and rolls  to be lost or for the right shoe to be worn with it. So I may have a Shop MY Closet this week. The last one did very well. I do donate a lot to GOODWILL all of the time but my good good stuff needs a fashionista's happy home.

Pinterest has been my assistant on everything. Below are some inspirations and ideas that I snatched from there. I have an extra room that I am seriously considering turning into a dressing room. Still pondering that though. If I do, I will keep you updated on the process.




     Chandelier in dressing room is so on      
     point! 




    I can make my extra room look like this instead of making it a workout or game room. 




These cases are called Billy bookcases from Ikea. I think it's worth getting a few solely for my shoes! 

    This is the way part of my closet looks  
    now! Too ashamed to show other part  
    but at least you can tell that there is no 
    joy or personality in there- along with 
    the untidiness!  We will see
    What I come up with! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Nadia's Birthday Party Recap

 

I thought I would share pictures and details from my baby girl's 3rd birthday party. This was 3 weeks ago but better late than never. There was a lot of work and planning that went into it so why not share? To think, I said she would not have a birthday party every year!
This one was held at Kids Play in Germantown TN. Kids actually played their hearts out. I would definitely recommend this venue for kids parties. For one it was awesome for the children. It was awesome for adullts too because there is no keeping up with them. It is a safe play zone and parents can chill. As far as party details go, once you get there, they take charge. I mean from blowing up balloons, setting up tables, and putting thumbtacks in the walls. It was stress free once I walked in the room.

I have to start on thank you cards ASAP! There were many more pictures divided amongst family and friends but I didn't compile them. So this is a small overview. More importantly, she loved it! Already talking about number 4! I don't think there will a big shindig for that one. 


Mickey Mouse ear from Target
Minnie Dress from Target
Minnie Mouse embellished custom Converse found here
 
 
 

Cake and cupcake by Sprinkles and Cream, Millington,TN
She has done our baking for past 3 years.
Anything I want she can do.

 

Mickey and Minnie showed up!
You should have seen Minnie's long skinny legs! LOL!
Russo's Pizza was super ginormous! Seriously! 
A portion of friends and family!
She had a spectacular time!

Party hats, ears, and favors
Thanks to my besties for putting their stamp
and hard work into the favor Mickey Mouse cups!




Tuesday, October 7, 2014

StyleMInt- Didn't ya Know, Didn't ya know>




Hey all, I have always been a fan of the Mints. ShoeMint, JewelMint, and StyleMint. They have increased in their pricing since first hitting the web but you can find some cute, different pieces on sale when they have them.

If you are unfamiliar with Stylemint-StyleMint was created in 2011 in collaboration with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who shared our desire to bring women everywhere the perfect T, at an affordable price. Fascinated by fit, fabric, and construction, our purpose was to create a designer quality T for $30.

Check out my faves right now on StlyeMint. Too bad they are full priced!

Minty Meets Munt Leona Dress 
$149.00
Reason Alma Mater Varsity Jacket 
$125.00

Pearce Dress
$79.98


Skargon Sister Tee
Too high but super cute!



Monday, October 6, 2014

Motivational Monday- Marsha Ambrosius- OMG I Miss You

Happy Monday. I love Marsha Ambrosius's voice but this last CD really speaks to me. There are a lot of songs that remind me of love. ...   Today is a funky day for me but music helps. This song is very poetic.



If you miss someone let them know.  Even if you just saw them yesterday or an hour ago. Even if you pushed them away.... Don't expect too much just let them know.



Have a nice Monday lovebugs!





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beach Trip Ideas

Here a few ideas for a beach getaway as fall has arrived and you, like me, have not been to the beach this year. So a quick weekend trip is in need. These are inexpensive. A mix of relaxation and partying! You pick.

If you want a condo, www.vrbo.com is a cool site to browse to find comfort and/or luxury.

 

 



Miami Beach, Fl




Wanna get away?

Love is.... Truth of it all!


Just wanted to share... Someone needs it....




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Resentment- I Love You but I Hate You

Disclaimer: This will be deep. I am working on myself. I am fixing my life to get to the life I want! I fucked up in many areas this past couple of years. Excuse my French but it is true. In going through many occurrences, I have found that many of my actions and choices have been out of despair, untouched issues, and things I could not control. All of this being said, I am a true believer that our tests and trials are not for us to dwell on but to share. I've always thought that. I've always known that this life isn't about me; I am here to give of myself to others- in a service and sharing type of way. I believe that our experiences mold us but also grow us like fertilized soil for the soul. I don't want to write these thoughts on Facebook as there are so many cruel folks out there now that won't receive what this is. Yet, it is an assignment for self. Here we go- remember this will be an "ouch". It will be deep. So whosoever reads this- know that it is only real and I'm processing all of this while I put it in words. 

"I love you but I hate you"is kind of harsh to deliver to someone because they won't understand it as you intend. I am hating this person for being oblivious to the fact that he had a responsibility. He had 2 children with my mom, not 1 but 2. I have been numb to the fact that he was absent in my life until recently. True, I bring up the issues I have in general with men not being there for their children but never really harped on the reality that my father was never ever there for me. Know that you don't have to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of stuff to be a father. You don't have to send money. Which he didn't do that either.  You have to try to spend quality time. Share experiences, stories, lessons, and history.  No one can take time spent back. 



 I was blessed to have my grandfather. To this day I believe he was a God send. Yet, he died when I was 16. He taught me how to survive, how to be independent, what a man is to their woman, to his family, to the world. However, he was taken way too soon in my opinion. 

My mom, was strong enough to never say one bad thing about my dad. My grandfather told me that he knew my father would never be around and that I need to make a way to be self -sufficient and not to ever date a man who wants me to take care of him or who was not a provider. God sent me a perfect mate, an ideal husband- and I fucked that up. That story is for another day. This is not to get pity but I'm aware now what my void was. 

No man, can take the place of the mandatory man that is to be there to raise, guide, protector, model, and be a figure for me. Any man can donate sperm and a Y chromosome to make a child. I needed my father. 

I haven't went through life knowingly looking for a father in my boyfriends or husband. Subconsciously, I could have been. I have pictures embedded in my mind when he was with us when we were 1,2,3... Nothing after. I have memories of him saying he would could get me and I sat on the porch until dusk to no avail. So did I dwell? No. But I have found I resent him. 

My loss of him and my grandfather left me at 16 with questions to God, questions about men, no father figure to root me on and tell me I was beautiful. He wasn't even around after I was raped and had to heal in secrecy between my mother and I. He was never at my graduations (I've had many), my wedding, most of all I hate him for leaving my growing younger brother. It was harder for him because I had a strong positive self esteem and self worth that was instilled in me by mom
and grandad. My brother needed him. It was rough on the streets of the west side of Chicago. The peer pressure of gangs and wanting to be hard was real. I was kind of automatically appointed to be a big sister, a mother, and a protector of us all after my grandad left. I hate my dad for not stepping up. It was yesterday that I realized and accepted the fact that I'm harboring all of this. It has indeed caused me to make some poor choices. Though, this is not to blame anyone.

I love him for bringing me into the world to experience this thing called life. I hate him for his absence. My growth from this is to pray for him. To allow him to communicate with me - as I have been cold in my ignoring of his messages or small attempts to even say hi. I will let go of what isn't and be grateful for what is. My brother is alive and well. My mom has moved on and is happy. I completed high school, undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate school of pharmacy. I've been blessed to have had 6 beautiful years of marriage and a smart, funny, beautiful spirited almost 3 year old. I have 5 other siblings who I am trying to build a bond.  I am not too damaged...  I am on my road to becoming whole. I don't want to hate him I want  to love him. I do not want to have questions in my mind of why he did what he did or didn't do. If he knew, it would have not played out this way. I believe God removes people for our own good. Who knows what it would have been. I do know know I am blessed to have had the childhood I did minus a few major traumatic events. Know that we can get through anything. ANYTHING. With prayer, friendship(blessed to have some great ones), strength and perseverance. 



If you have any comments please share. If you want to share with someone, please do. It's all good. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#WCW

These celebs are always on point with makeup, hair, and wardrobe I like their persona too! I would post Beyonce' but everyone hearts her and forgets some of the others! Although, she looks cute all of the time to me even when she is not trying!

These ladies are attractive, fearless, real, and are my female crushes, if you will!








Thoughts....



Pictures from Google Images and Bing.

Time Flies...When You are Living Life

So Nadia will be 3 at the end of October. It does not seem like it has been that long but then it does! She is so grown.  I have been in party planning mode! She told me she wanted 5 parties but I told her no so she says, " OK, maybe 3!" So I am doing a big one and then one with her cousins at the house and something like Chucky Cheese or Incredible Pizza. I guess she is spoiled but after all she is going to be 3! So no party next year! (I say that now!) I am trying to take her to DisneyWorld. It is just so hard saving money when there is no extra!

Anyhow, I am amazed at how this time is flying! Just last year, I was saying 2014- I am going to do this, I am going to do that. I have done much of nothing. It has been all I could do to stay focused on maintaining day to day life. My friends and I made our end of the year vision board. I think one of my problems was not having my vision board done at the beginning of the year. But it is hard to have positive visions when everything looks so gloomy. Thank God for friends, huh?! So as time is flying by and life is passing me by, I am proud that I can say being a mother has been a priority for me and all else pales in comparison. I do have personal goals that I must accomplish for myself which in turn will make me even more productive in this journey as a mother, professional, and friend.

So as these days continue to zoom by and hours race under my feet and the minutes vanish into thin air, I am planning and doing and facing personal challenges and goals. Of these, I will list a few:

1. Reduce debt.
2. Reduce body fat.
3. Increase activities.
4. Travel more even if it is road trips.
5. Cook more.
6.  Go after the life I want! I wish I could attend Oprah's tour!

OK, if you are reading this, make a list- work on it. I have a more detailed list with short term goals that will get me to my long term goals. I do best by seeing it on paper, marking it off as I go. Keep a calendar of the days you work out and/or miles you walk or run. Write down everything you spend so you can see what senseless spending can be eliminated. I spoke with a financial planner who told me I could be debt-free ( of all student loans and ALL) in half the time I figured. I am focused and driven. Do what you have to, to get motivated to make your life better no matter where are you in life.

Now to planning my almost 3 year olds party!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Labor Day Weekend in Pics

 


 

I must say that this past weekend was a start in the right direction for me. One of my besties came to visit from Chicago. We hit up Chuckles Comedy House and laughed at Benji Brown and Lil Duvall (picture below)! That show was hilarious! Funniest cats I have seen in a while.

My brother treated us all to Magic Springs Water and Theme Park in Arkansas. When I say, awesome time. It was great for the kids, teens, and us adults! The kid water splash park was the most exciting for me! That was a day trip full of family fun! No pictures from that day because we left our phones in vehicle so they wouldn't be damaged. Sunday was church then the Universal Soul Circus!If you have not had the pleasure of seeing this show, catch it when it comes to your city. Worth every penny! It was everyone's first time and that was so entertaining!

Monday, my bestie headed home but Nadia and I spent the day in my friend's backyard and pool! It was a cool day! If you follow me on Instagram @loomslidslayers  you saw the immaculate pool!






Her tee is from Children's place last year.
She wanted a fro!
Ready for some pool ac




 
 
 

I did not take too many pics of the circus and of course I did not have my camera. But this was our weekend!

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