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Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Best of January: Top 10 Posts

Top 10 Posts Readers Love 

Much to my surprise, the #1 most viewed post for the month of January was my poem "Scorched Earth".  I guess it wasn't half bad :). Thanks goes to my mama for the inspiration.

Coming in 2nd is my segment Slow Cooker Saturdays, and it is a hit! I can honestly say that meal planning has changed my life. How did I do it?  I shopped on sale, I made a menu, and I stretched all meals.  The most viewed recipe was the chicken fajitas, and trust me, the fajitas were good!  I made fajitas, quesadillas, and chicken bowls (Chipotle style).  Talk about stretching a meal! #winning

Even though written in December, my debut post "i want to live out loud" is the 3rd most viewed post this month. It's also my new motto!

Following closely behind my debut post at #4 is my post on Parenting. I will tell you that my girls are my heartbeats, and I am blessed to have them.

Coming in as the 5th most viewed post is Shopping+Style. I plan to share more of my fashion ideas, and I welcome yours!

Organizing or de-cluttering is the 6th most viewed post of the month. It confirms for me that making sure everything has a place is a necessity. Making sure that happens can be overwhelming, so take it one day at a time.

The 7th most viewed post was on Saving $, and many are interested in this strategy. Right now, I am making sure that saving money in ALL areas be a top priority.

My post in 2015 on goal setting is #8. I am happy that many of you have the same interest to create a clear vision and attainable goals. I am a work in progress, and though I am not quite restored, I will not stop!

21 days later is  #9. Being healthy takes commitment, and I am happy to report that I am still committed. I want to be healthy, and I want to be here. That's motivation enough!

The #10 most viewed post was Teaching Fashionably, and that makes me happy. Since the second semester started, I have been looking good in the classroom, and I have to admit I feel good; I feel confident. My students are more respectful and my attitude is on point. Remember, looking good doesn't have to cost a lot of money, but having the respect of the students and feeling good is priceless!

Thank you for a wonderful month. I am well on my way on my journey to restoration. 
Don't forget to join me in February where my focus for the month will be 



Friday, January 30, 2015

28 Ways to Love Yourself or Show Love in February

  1. Buy an item on your wish list
  2. Get a massage
  3. Go to bed early 
  4. Treat yourself to a pair of shoes
  5. Make your bedroom peaceful
  6. Buy new sheets
  7. Eat Ice Cream for breakfast
  8. Drink water everyday
  9. Make Sundays your days
  10. Find a new fragrance
  11. Take a Stay-cation
  12. Advocate for a charity
  13. Look your best on Valentine's Day!
  14. Wish for Snow 
  15. Celebrate Fat Tuesday
  16. Call an old friend and reconnect
  17. Wear pink as much as possible
  18. Take a candlelit bath and drink a glass of wine
  19. Make Mondays matter
  20. Do something you have been planning to do
  21. Embrace a part of your body you'd change if you could
  22. Plan to sleep late
  23. Avoid negativity
  24. Buy fresh flowers for your desk
  25. Try a new (lush) drink 
  26. Host a Gathering
  27. Eat heart healthy
  28. Marathon Season 3 of House of Cards

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Blog Report:"If You Build It"

On December 29th 2014, I pressed publish, and as easy as that, I joined the world of blogging. Armed with my many ideas, I shared a variety of posts, some relevant and some not so much, but I shared them anyway. At the time, I thought I just wanted an outlet, a place where my thoughts could reside, and in turn, provide my brain with some much needed space for other thoughts and dreams to grow.

Very soon after, more like 3 days after (ha!), I became obsessed with how few followers I had gained. I also became fixated on how many pageviews I was accruing. What's worse is, I even found myself complaining to a couple of my friends about people not leaving me comments. I mean really, why won't people just tell me what they think already! But my friends were sweet. They listened to me gripe and told me that not everybody likes to leave comments. One of my friends even asked me if that was why I was doing it anyway (thanks, Cynthia). What she said made me think, and I noticed that I was allowing things that I could not control, control me. And as my 4 yr old would say, "That's not good, right?" So here's what I determined.

Blogging makes me happy. It just does. I like sharing. I also like that blogging helps me reflect and that it feeds my hunger for creativity. I enjoy the fact that I am learning more about myself, and I am learning how to like myself again. Because for I while, I didn't.

All in all, I report that I really have enjoyed these past 30 days of blogging. It has been challenging, but I have enjoyed learning, and I have not been bored for a single minute. What's funny is that people are starting to come around, and one by one they are leaving a comment or two. One of my readers even told me that I'm an inspiration (thanks, Melissa). I also have 3 followers (oops, 4!- I gained one more while typing this post). Yay! I smiled and reminded myself that I just need to be patient. I know, I'm a big baby, but I'm learning that if I build it, they will come!  

So, I just want you to know that I am happy we crossed paths, and please, please feel free to stalk my blog as often as you'd like because I have tons of ideas, and I am going to keep them coming!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

splurge or save: handbag edition

classic blue is #trending this spring;
which bag would you rock? 

I have never been one to carry a bright-colored handbag, but this year is the year of change for me, and I wouldn't mind adding a little color to my life. 
During my search for my next handbag, these blue handbags caught my eye. I mean look at them; the blue is bold, it's beautiful, it's me!

So how much does one need to spend to make a statement?

                   Longchamp $555                                                           Old Navy $32                        

For me, it's really a no brainer.  I do love both of these beautiful blue handbags, but the best buy for me is the Old Navy version.  It's roomy, it's beautiful, and it's better priced.

What do you think? Which bag would buy?

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"what's a holiday?"

I am always amazed by the many types of questions that Tamia asks me.  Some of her questions are just plain weird, such as, "Do rats eat people?" While others are as simple as "Do you love me?"  She is curious about so many things, and sometimes, I don't have an answer to give her.  So when she asked me "what's a holiday?"  I was surprised that she asked me a question that I could actually answer.

Tamia: Mommy what's a holiday?
Me:     Well, a holiday is  a day like any other day, it's just more... 
           (but before I could complete my thought, she chimed in)
Tamia: "special"
Me: That's exactly right, Tamia!

How the idea came about...

#1- Every year Tamia decorates a 3 ft. personal-sized Christmas tree for her bedroom, and for the past three years she has used my old ornaments to decorate her tree.  

#2- One of my colleagues shared with me she and her family were giving each other retro Christmas gifts, and that she was going to give her brother painted Christmas ornaments with superheros on them (pinterest-inspired).  Immediately, I was hooked because I love the Avengers.  So right away, I thought that idea was pretty cool, and I filed it away to explore later.  At the time, I was thinking that maybe Tamia and I could make ornaments with a Disney Princess theme (Thanks, Karen).

Marvel and DC Comics

#3- So, when Tamia asked me the question "what's a holiday?", I decided to alter the idea Karen shared with me and have Tamia decorate a holiday ornament for each month of the year.   At which time, she and I would have a mini lesson about the importance of the holiday and then I would her ask her to share with me why she thinks the holiday is so special.  
(FYI, we will be substituting off months with family member birthdays).   Once we are done, Tamia will have 12 new ornaments (of her own) to decorate her Christmas tree.  Cool, right? 

The Idea in Action... (a 4-yr old's work)

So for January, Tamia made an ornament in honor of MLK holiday, and much thanks to her preschool teacher, Tamia had a lot of information to share with me about Martin Luther King, Jr.  

She said that "he wanted everyone to be the same."  It was a proud mama moment.  She went on to tell me that he was killed, and added "that's sad, right?".  Then I shared that Dr. King had 4 little kids like her when he died. She then asked me one of the best questions ever, "who took care of his children when he died?"  She's a sharp one:)

Check out her ornament.


Completed Work

She's always making me think (as if I needed any assistance- ha!).  

Ornaments (acrylic, kid-safe option) from Amazon
Tempura Paints (kid-safe paint) from AC Moore and Michael's

February ornament share is coming soon, so come back!

thank you kindly,

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Monday, January 26, 2015

mindful monday


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Friday, January 23, 2015

21 days later

On January 2nd, my very noticeable muffin top and I committed to the 21 Day No Junk Food Challenge.  I really approached this as a commitment that would require me to drink something other than water, and my initial thoughts were, "I can live without Pepsi, no problem."  So began my journey.  But right away, I realized that my weakness was not "an ice-cold Pepsi", but a bag of Lay's potato chips (Doritos, Tostitos, etc). I LOVE CHIPS.  I eat chips with dip, chips with sandwiches, chips with hot dogs, chips with Pepsi, chips with movies... you get it.  So for me it seems that the 21 days without chips snailed by, but it forced me to find healthier snacks and to make better choices about the foods I put into my body.  Honestly, I feel like I have been hungry for a month, but only for chips. I haven't missed much else. For instance, I did not eat out for 21 days, and I did not miss it. I may have missed the convenience of ordering a pizza or Wendy's drive thru, but I did not miss the food.  In fact, I became a better meal planner as a result of not being able to eat fast food. Needless to say, 21 days later, I have a "less" noticeable muffin top, and I happy to report that I survived!  I do plan to continue on with no fast food and no white bread.  All other items can be continued but with strict moderation because too much of anything is not good for anyone.    

The Snacks I Ate: 
Celery Sticks- No dip
Fresh Fruit
Energy Trail Mix- Fisher

Snacks I Plan to Incorporate:
Ips Chips (Egg White Chips)

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

wishful wednesday




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Monday, January 19, 2015

finding the right handbag

Buying the next "it" handbag is a serious matter.  It is a purchase that cannot be made on a whim; it must be well considered and well researched.  It is a big deal. Why? Because the handbag makes a statement about the woman carrying it.  It is an extension of her. She and the bag are one.

With that said, deciding which handbag to buy is not a task for the faint of heart. Why so arduous a task? Why such frustration? Well, it all stems from the many factors that are to be considered when committing to a new handbag.  Let's see, first there is the color, the size, and the material type.  Then there is the brand, the type of bag, and let's not forget, the desired purpose for the bag.  Basically, when it comes right down to it, purchasing a new handbag is just as important as purchasing a car.  Women want to know how many miles they can get out of their handbag, and if their handbag will turn heads and leave mouths agape.  For me the many factors and numerous options have caused me great strife. So much strife that I found myself looking for someone, anyone, to end my suffering, or at least to provide me with some guidance on where I should begin because really, all I want is a quality handbag that is functional, stylish, and affordable (is that unreasonable?).  I'm sure you all can understand my dilemma. 

A plethora of choices that make the search just a bit overwhelming

Online searches were very helpful, but after much searching, I still was unable to fully decide on my new "arm candy"; however, the hunt for my new handbag was not in vain. Fortunately, I learned quite a bit about my handbag preference: 1. I am a minimalist (less is more), 2. I have a mental spending limit not to exceed no matter how "it" the bag actually is, 3. I care more about quality than trendy (big surprise), 4. I am a lover of a tote-satchel combo handbag and shoppers, and 5. I love cognac and gray.  These are the bags that have caught my eye (or at least styles I like).       

So what do you think?

I love this bag.  It's got everything: style, affordability, and functionality.
So for right now, it's #1.

I like both of these bags as well, but I'm still trying to locate the gray MK.  I'm afraid this one is no longer available.  If that's the case, the cognac MK  is runner up.
The Downing
This bag is a long-time  favorite of mine.  It's classic.  It's beautiful.  It's J. Crew. 
Even though I feel a decision is near, your feedback is welcome.  So tell me, which one do you like?

Besides don't leave me hanging too long because... 

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