January 2016

“Watch Me Grow: Reflections on Friendships Through Seasons”




I was planning out this week’s posts and ended up looking back at a few pieces I wrote as journal entries more so than blog posts. I found this one in particular that I wrote last year. Upon reading I thought it may be a little personal to share (since it was a reflection) but then I got to thinking. Maybe someone else can relate to the lessons I shared in this entry. Or maybe someone is currently going through friendship changes and trying to make sense of it all. Either way, if it can help someone else there’s no use in it sitting idle in a notebook. 🙂 Much of my reflection was based on personal experience. However, I also kept finding myself having conversations with women my age who expressed similar thoughts and concerns. That’s when I took pen to paper as you see below. Hope you enjoy…


July 2, 2015

Throughout my upbringing I have always been taught that friendships will come and go throughout one’s lifetime. Phrases like “Some people come into your life for a reason and a season” or “You have to learn to let people go” were constant reminders in church, at home and from older, wiser sources. While I saw examples of how this could be true through the lives of others, I thought it would be limited in my own. I figured that I would lose acquaintances throughout life. But good, close friends…in my mind, I knew that they would be around for forever. I pictured hanging with long time buddies in luxury rocking chairs while watching our grandchildren play and reminisce on the fun times of our younger days. There are still some close friends that I can have that with. Though in the last couple of years I’ve realized that this may not be the case for every close friendship I’ll have in my lifetime.

Many friendships have changed. Some re-categorized to strong acquaintanceships and others have grown completely apart only to be connected by an occasional greeting card or notification of a life event. On the flip side, I’ve seen the people I’ve least expected step up and show me the greatest support. Life is truly funny.

I’ve always been the “networker” in many of my friendships. The one who sends the reminder when a “catch up” lunch or happy hour is overdue. The human calendar of sorts that sends an alert that our last meeting was 2 months too long ago. And I’m okay with that because I truly enjoy this role and feel comfortable being the networker. But recently I’ve had to challenge myself to let others do the work. Not because I wanted to be the taker and avoid being the giver. But because, in my mind, if we’re friends and I’m important to you then I expect that you should initiate a girls brunch every now and then. If you’re a close friend, the expectation will be even higher.

Now don’t get me wrong, we’re all busy. And sometimes these things slip our minds. (Me included.) But as the old saying goes “You make time for what’s important to you”. When I learned to step back I was able to decipher those who sincerely got busy but meant well versus those who I just needed to stop holding to such a high level of expectation. The later maybe even needing to be loved at a distance. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’ve come to realize that these can be bittersweet moments. Bitter because friendships have been lost that were years in the making. Sweet because those loses may have been signs of a new chapter. Through these severed ties I’ve grown creatively, encouraged myself to work on business ideas, grow in my faith walk, come in touch with my true self and so much more. Not that I think those friendships would have blocked such growth but apparently God knows something I don’t. Actually, He knows a lot that I don’t.

At the same time I’ve grown more appreciative of those that surprised me and stepped up to the plate to support. I’ve grown to realize not just how they can enhance my growth through our friendships. But more importantly, how I can enhance theirs. Because as you grow, you realize that reciprocity lends to well-balanced relationships.

While it is comfortable to hold on to the friendships that got us through so many phases and stages, it’s not always meant to be for those relationships to continue. And always for a reason – always. God wants to introduce new relationships to see us through new chapters and bring in resources that will birth incredible blessings.


What are some of the ways you’ve grown in your friendships (either together or apart)? Do you have any reflections on friendships that you’ve come to think through further as you’ve aged?

Why You Should Avoid Negative Nancy and Reasons to Convert If You Are Her


[Image from]

Do you know a Negative Nancy (or Norman…gender equality 🙂 )? You know, the person that has a negative response for everything. Or the chronic complainer? Even worse, are you that person? (*Puts hand over eyes.*) We live in a negative world that’s full of hurt and disappointment. So we’re all going to have our bad days, complaints and frustrations. Though it is important to not make it a lifestyle. In the spirit of self-care, here’s why we should avoid this energy in our lives whether we’re the cause or the victim.

Reasons Why You Should Avoid Negative People

1) It will wear on you.

It will drain you to constantly take on a negative energy. If you’re constantly listening to negative talk it will likely make you more pessimistic. You may start hearing that negative speech in your own thoughts and words.

Also, like the old saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together”. People tend to (typically) hang out with those that are most like them. Even if this may not be the case with you and the Nancy (or Norman) in your life, be careful. People may automatically assume you come with the same negativity just by association.

2) Misery loves company.

We’d like to think that those around us want us to be happy even if they’re dealing with their own problems. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes it makes people feel better to know they’re not the only one struggling or unhappy. Be careful of this. Wish the best for that person, pray for them, lift them up in your positive thoughts, offer support (with boundaries of course) if you’d like but don’t drag yourself down with them.

I was once telling my mom about a former colleague who was always draining me with negativity. I love her response. She told me: “Don’t let her problems be your problems!”. Simple yet to the point!

3) They may not root for you when you win.

Similar to the last point, we’d hope that all of our friends, family and other close connections want to see us win. Not always the case. I’d say that through my adult years I’ve been reminded of this truth quite a few times. Certain connections would be negative and I’d think “they don’t mean any harm…that’s just so and so being him/her”. Until something positive happened in my life and I received a fake congrats or none at all. And as unfortunate as those realizations may have been, they’re lessons learned. Not to mention more motivation to cheer on the next person’s victory.


Reasons Why You Should Avoid Being a Negative Person

1) You are hiding from the real problem(s) instead of solving it.

If you’re constantly being negative, chances are you’re unhappy about something. Carrying on those negative vibes is only going to bring more unhappiness. Look at the issues and possible solutions.

Take me for example. I have had multiple jobs that I complained about constantly. (Shout out to all those listening ears! Sorry for the excessive rants! 🙁 ) And I know many people complain about their jobs but at one point in my life, I had it bad. In retrospect, I wish I would have channeled my frustration into something positive like exercising. Or took up a hobby that would help me shake off the stress. Eventually, I did start mixing up my activities a bit more, went back to school and got better jobs. More importantly, I learned how to manage the problems better by giving myself solutions instead of hiding out in Soapbox Land.

2) You will speak negativity into existence.

One of my favorite inspirational speakers, Joel Osteen (Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX), spoke in one of his books about a former high school friend of his that illustrated this example. Osteen explains that in school his friend, Ned, was an attractive young man that was in shape. But when people would ask “How are you doing, Ned?”, he’d respond “Oh I’m just getting old, fat and bald.”. Osteen ran into his friend years later as an adult. And guess what? Ned was old, fat and bald!

Moral of the story: Don’t be Ned! 😉

3) You won’t have time to appreciate and be grateful for what you do have.

If you’re constantly being negative, how can you appreciate the good things? I’ll pick on myself again and do another yours truly example.

From time to time, I find myself thinking “I have 2 degrees and still have yet to have the career I want.”. Which is a common frustration amongst many people in my age range that have completed (and are now paying loans for 🙁 ) degrees. At least that’s what I’ve gathered from numerous conversations and social media research. 🙂 So I stand supported but that’s still not an excuse for negativity. I have to remind myself to be grateful that I was given the opportunity to go to school and obtain those degrees. I may still be working toward being in my “ideal” career. However, in the meantime, I can be appreciative of my education by supporting others pursuing the same and/or sharing the knowledge I’ve learned to uplift and empower someone else.


So check the Negative Nancies (and Normans) in your own lives. And if you are one, check yourself! Let’s promote positive vibes! In fact, feel free to share some below. 🙂

Moisturizing Beauty Products



This week I’ve been focusing on self care. For those of you that follow me on social media, you may have seen my posts promoting self care and ways to maintain such daily. While the mental and emotional aspects of self care are vital, it’s always fun to mix in the products and services that provide a little treat for our bodies. (Did someone say spa day?) Most of us may not be able to enjoy a Caribbean vacay on a regular basis or reap the benefits of a personal masseuse. However, buying budget friendly beauty products that pamper our skin is something that the majority of us can say is within our reach.

Below are a few products that I use regularly (with the exception of a new one 🙂 ). What I enjoy most about these products is how soft they leave my skin. Especially in these winter months when dry skin is so common. Goodbye dry skin, hello moisture!

Shea Moisture Products


Shea Moisture Super Fruit Hand and Body Scrub

I recently started using this product. Kind of a funny story…I originally purchased it to go in a gift basket for Christmas. Turns out I was so curious to try it that I popped it open for myself. Since then I’ve been scrubbing away dead skin and loving the smooth finish!

Shea Moisture Super Fruit Bath, Body and Massage Oil

Shea Moisture did it again! This product works great with the hand and body scrub. It adds an extra layer of moisture that is always needed during these skin-parching months. I like this scent because it’s not overly fruity so it can be used by a man or woman and smell equally as good on both. I like to spray a small amount of perfume over the oil for a nice finish. A man could do the same with cologne to create a more masculine scent.

Shea Moisture Men’s Scrub and Wash

This was the “with the exception of one” I was speaking of above. I haven’t tried it (well…after all…it is a men’s product 😉 ) but if it’s consistent with the other Shea Moisture products then I’m comfortable vouching for it! I find it awesome that they made it a two in one: scrub and body wash. Less juggling and acrobatics in the shower!


Vaseline Intensive Care Products


Vaseline Intensive Care Healing Serum

This lotion has been a go-to of mine for quite some time now. The cocoa butter keeps my skin hydrated while I reap its other benefits like healing scars and blemishes.

In the hotter months I like using the spray-on version which is a little lighter in coverage but has the same effects.

Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Oil

I used this product regularly years ago and forgot about it until recently. I know…how could I do such a thing?! This stuff is great! In fact, I can use it alone and it works just as well (maybe even better…shhh!) than the lotion.


I purchased these products at Target and Walgreens. They can be found at many other drug stores and beauty retailers as well.

Have you tried any of these products? Any questions about my experience with them? Please comment below if you have any questions or additional information to dish on these products. 🙂

5 Things That I’m Looking Forward To In The New Year


[Photo from Kate Spade New York]

Happy New Year! (By the way, prepare to hear that until at least mid-February.) I’ve been gone for a bit – blame it on some “life happens” situations, the holidays and even the flu. ( I know, yuck!) But I’m back and ready to bring you inspirational content on a regular basis once again. I’m thrilled about the new year! I wanted to share with you a few quick reasons why. There are a few things I’ll have to give more details on as further developments come. But just know that I’m jumping in the air and clicking my heels in the meantime. 🙂

I’m hoping that you all are kicking your dreams, goals and epic plans into high gear for the new year as well!

1. Collaborations

I’m fortunate to have some awesomely creative, intelligent and inspirational individuals in my circle and extended circles. They will be contributing to the blog in unique ways soon to offer their expertise, talent and personal touches of inspiration.

There are also a few contributors that I am eagerly anticipating to talk possibilities with soon. And if they don’t bite the first time around, I’ve got chocolate and Edible Arrangement bouquets that will change their minds. (Just kidding! 😉 )

2. Career Changes

This year I will be starting a new chapter in my career. Well, perhaps a few new chapters for that matter. I can’t wait to share how that works out, lessons learned while waiting for transformation and other details.

3. Purging

I’m not sure whether to be over the moon excited about this or dread it. Particularly, I have been cleaning a lot of (tangible) clutter. My hoarding habits are pretty insane. That will be changing in the new year which is what I’m excited about. Having to sort, discard and give away has been the challenging part. But I must say that there’s a great mental reward with eliminating clutter.

4. Positive Affirmations

I enjoy listening to and reading materials from Joel Osteen. I was recently listening to one of his podcasts and he said something that really made my ears ring. He spoke about the power that words have over our lives. He said it best: “If you have a poor mouth, you will have a poor life”.

Prior to listening to that message I had already started practicing more positive speaking over my life. I think the majority of us have been guilty of speaking negatively over ourselves without even realizing it. Ever opened your inbox at work and said “today’s going to be a rough day”? Or claimed to never be able to have something you thought was unattainable – a house, a car, a job, etc.? It’s easy to travel down the “woe is me” road but intentionally speaking positive thoughts over your life can make a significant difference.

This is why Joel Osteen’s message encouraged me to start writing down positive affirmations. I also write the date that I spoke those words. This way I can look back and reflect when the positive results come into existence.

5. Bringing More Inspiration to You!

I’ve been reflecting a lot on ways to deliver more inspirational messages. In a world full of injustice, senseless violence, crazy jobs, illness, relationship struggles and so many other challenges not listed (though just as significant), we all could benefit from more inspiration. So I’m looking forward to using different ways to deliver more of that content.


What are some of your goals and aspirations for the new year? Please comment below, I’m excited to hear. Not sure? That’s fine too. If you’re not sure where to even begin coming up with inspiration to determine steps in this category – let me know this as well! Hopefully I can get you plugged into a few resources that can get you inspired to plan.