10 Cool Gifts for Him that I Love

Christmas is back!! It is approaching so fast and I have been so busy.

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Finding the perfect gift for your “him” can be a task sometimes. While shopping for the men in my life, I am trying not to purchase something that they would buy for themselves or anything that is boring. I also have a budget because when I don’t, I do way too much! I found a few ideas that can work for any man on your list. Some are personalized, DIY, and will match any budget.

Here are 10 of my favorites

  1. If your man owns air pods, here is something that will help ensure that he will not misplace them again…a monogrammed Leather Air Pod Case. With the monogrammed case, there will not be a mix up on which belongs to whom. The case comes with a clip so that he can attach them to a keychain, backpack or his jeans. I found this on ETSYmenchristmas
  2. For the photographer on the run, you can purchase this smartphone camera lens set. All you do is clip on the super-wide angle, macro lens, or fisheye to the phone to catch the perfect shot. The clamp design does work with every brand of phone, so no worries. This was an Amazon find. menchristmas1
  3. Personalized men’s wallet is always a practical choice. I was messing around on ETSY and saw some really cool brands that were reasonably priced. You can have initials, their names, or something a little more elaborate printed out. menchristmas2
  4. Sometimes it is cool to give them an experience for Christmas. Why not give the experience of skydiving without actually jumping out of a plane? Indoor skydiving is so much fun and most big cities have a place to do it!menchristmas3
  5. Now, there are so many men out there rocking the beard trend. Are you tired of looking at all of the hair in the sink? Ok, on Amazon there is a beard bib to help him keep his beard sexy while keeping the sinks clean. That is a dual-purpose gift right there! menchristmas4
  6. With this one, there shouldn’t be an excuse for why he didn’t pick up your call. Amazon has a USB Charger Station that can charge six devices all at once. They also sell a car charger that has five ports for either iPhone or Android and it charges at twice the speed as the normal charger.  menchristma5
  7. Charge 3 Activity Tracker Watch from Fitbit is a cool gift for the man who loves fitness or is trying to set a fitness goal for the new year. This one is swim-proof and goes deeper with information on his heart rate, calories burned, sleep and more. menchristmas5
  8. If your guy is one who loves to go through photos and talk about family history, I would get him the Ancestry DNA test. I found one on Amazon right now for $59.00! He will have a blast finding out more about his family history, especially the things that the family storytellers may have left out. menchristmas7
  9. So I saw something kind of cool the other day. I saw some beanies. They weren’t just normal beanies though… they have built-in speakers to stream music or make/receive calls via Bluetooth. The speakers are removable so you can wash the beanie when its time. menchristmas8
  10. All of my boys are getting headphones this year because they know how to make mine do disappearing acts. I just don’t think you can go wrong with getting some BOSE QuietComfort Wireless Headphones. They are noise-canceling and wireless! They have been rated the most comfortable and the GH Institute’s test has given them a top-ranking for sound quality. menchristmas9

There are so many other cool gifts out there. Look around but do not get stressed out. Men are a lot simpler than we think.  Happy hunting and Merry Christmas!

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I’m Outgrowing People and That’s Ok

outgrowingpeopleAs we get older..we tend to outgrow things. We have outgrown our clothes, our tastes and there are certain things that we just aren’t going to do anymore. Have you outgrown Santa and the tooth fairy? Maybe you have outgrown wrestling your younger siblings or dainty little tea parties (can’t say that I have!)…it happens.

Let’s go a little deeper…we have also outgrown some of our fears right? What about some limitations? You are not afraid to fly alone anymore or swim. There is so much more to add to that list. So why are we holding back when it’s time to walk away from people that we have outgrown?

Why are we not embracing the space we are in mentally, physically, spiritually, and/or emotionally and wanting to see the same thing in the people closest to us? Why are we so afraid to let go of the ones who do not serve us? Why waste time giving our energy to them?

We are out here adulting and stuff and I am sure that you, like me, have gotten to the outgrowingpeople3point where we know who we are and who we desire to be. I don’t know about you but I NOW know what it is like to appreciate myself and invest in me and it feels so good.

Regardless of how your mind works, life will always move forward. We can do the same as we grow up and get to know ourselves better. We have to embrace the fact that as our lives change, so will our circles. There is absolutely no reason for us to sit around and wait for other people to catch up with us.

It is OK to outgrow people!

It is not selfish, or spiteful, or mean to do this. We owe it to ourselves to keep moving forward and everyone cannot come with us to the next space. Sorry, not sorry.

outgrowingpeople1Outgrow people who do not know your value, or pretend to not know…

Outgrow people who are not genuine with you and treat you like you are replaceable…

Outgrow people that do not appreciate you…

Outgrow people who are accepting of part of you and not all…

Outgrow people who do not support who you are and what you are trying to do…

Outgrow people who do not talk to you unless its for a favor or the latest gossip…

Outgrow people who do not want to grow themselves…

Now I wouldn’t go making list or anything of said people. My thoughts are to just realize what you do not need in your life right now. Look at how much you have grown over these years! Let’s keep that growth moving by letting people leave when they try or walking away from people that leaving you feeling anything less than fabulous when they are in your presence or even text and messages. You know that feeling…you seeoutgrowingpeople2 their name and your heart starts racing or you roll your eyes…yeah that one.

We don’t even have to be mean about it. We can simply move on. Move on from the one-sided relationships, people that only hit you up when they have “tea to spill” or want to borrow from you and all of those people who do not appreciate you but “keep in touch”. They are all draining and you can tell from the way you feel when you finally hang up or walk away….RUN!!!!

Remember, that there is nothing selfish about walking away from what doesn’t serve you.

IMG_0925Sometimes, we have outgrown people without even realizing we have. Make it real by walking away. Let me say this…even though you are moving on from whatever, you are not losing it because you cannot lose what it once gave you. You once received from them and it helped you grow, it gave you comfort and taught you many things.  Take the lesson with you!

For this upcoming year, but I have already started, it is time for me to make my circle resemble my growth! I am outgrowing and moving on from people and environments that don’t see my value, invest in my growth, and those that are ALL TALK. My prayer is that you step away from the fear of losing and do the same. We all deserve to live our best life surrounding by people that can see our worth and will hold us accountable…truly love us unconditionally.

My Top 5 Friendship Needs…

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Photo by Adrienn on Pexels.com

Science says that without friends, most people will die an early death.

It’s true!

In order for us to live a long, happy life, we need each other. We need friends! What we don’t need is a bunch of fair-weathered associates. We need some well-rounded, diverse and supported people to create our circle of friends with. We need people who will be there through thick and thin; that we can share our ups and downs without fear of judgment or abandonment.

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Photo by Elle Hughes on Pexels.com

These are the kind of friends I believe (and hope for in my life) balance out and keep us healthy…

  1. The Loyal Best Friend. We all need a non-judgemental friend that will still be bold enough to call us out on our BS when we need them to. One that will support us and keep our secrets. A loyal bestie is one that will know that we are a hot mess behind closed doors…know all of those deep, dark secrets and still love us thoroughly.
  2. The Brutally Honest Friend. We all need someone to have our back and be bold enough to tell us the old hard truth. He/She will let you know when it is time to stop that on again off again relationship once and for all. They will let you know that it is time to stop settling, that you have something in your nose, or maybe that you really should have looked at yourself before you came outside today. Friends are supposed to be honest with you. They are there to cheer you on and to yank those rose-colored glasses off of your eyes when need be. When you find this person, hold on to them! They are hard to come by.
  3. The Opposite. As humans, we are always looking to bond with like-minded folks. img_7363Always attempting to run in packs. I think that it challenges and grows us to have people in our lives that hold a different view than we do. When we are only associating with “our tribe”, we become detached from the rest of the world and create stereotypes about anyone outside of us. Let us open our eyes to different world views and learn to accept others. That may bring a little more peace into your world.
  4. A Friendly Neighbor. I am going to be honest with you and say that in the last neighborhood that I lived in, I did not know much of anything about the people I lived near. It is a shame because I am sure that my neighbors were probably very nice people, maybe. We are starting to vacation more and having a neighbor that we can trust would and can be life-saving. Nice neighbors that are dependable will have each other’s back and protect each other’s homes. I just recently moved and I know, at least the names for now, of all of the neighbors in my tiny little neighborhood. I actually cannot wait to learn more!
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    Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

    The Wise One. If you have someone in your circle that is smart, encouraging, inspiring and admirable in your life, you are one lucky human! We all need a friend who inspires us to be a better person without making us feel like a child. If you are that person in your group, you may need to find another group or add someone to your group that does the same for you.

 

There are other friends that we need to make our world go around as well, but for me, these are the ones that will keep me growing and make my world crazy and beautiful all at the same time.

We also need an adventurous friend that will grab our hand and take us places and haveIMG_5537 us doing things that we never would have imagined. A funny friend to draw out our smiles when we feel like doing nothing but crying. A praying friend that doesn’t have to talk much but you know that they are praying you through your situations and celebrations. We need a work friend that can help us get through the crazy days.

Having more than one of any of these is a Blessing! I am working on revamping my friendship circle and I am loving how it feels.

 

Comparison Can Bring You, Joy, Too!

goodcomparison4Sometimes we watch people “come up” and the green-eyed monster shows up on our shoulders making us wonder why they are getting the things that we have been longing for. Friends are getting new jobs, new lovers, getting engaged or married, having babies, buying nice things, becoming famous, getting promoted and/or getting recognized.

We can look at what is going on in their lives and not feel negative emotions. It’s possible! You can admire what you see happening in their lives without questioning your own success. Economists and psychologists call it downward comparison.  If you compare upward about things you can’t change, then you’re just going to feel stuck. No Bueno!

Comparing ourselves to others does not have to be an unhealthy, negative practice. It doesn’t have to be self-loathing or full of jealousy. Comparing yourself can be goodcomparisonproductive…say whaaaaaaat?!

There are pros and cons to this thing right? It is not good if we are trying to gain a sense of superiority or avoiding challenging yourself to do better. Or comparison can remind us of our own fortune…it serves as a reality check.

It can motivate us, give a different perspective, and make us appreciate our lives.  Comparison can lead to some incredible breakthroughs.

I know this sounds completely unusual. The internet and popular opinion say that we should stop comparing ourselves to others. There are so so many articles out there that tell you why you shouldn’t compare…and I agree with their points. This is just another way to look at a comparison.

goodcomparison1Honestly, we should definitely delight in the success, well-being, and growth of our loved ones. A little comparison can cause a light to go off in your head…your life and motivate you to not only aim higher but to put some action to it. Celebrating others and comparing may help us see where we are,  how far we have come and that we should be celebrated too. It can show us that we are worthy of more and push us forward.

When you see others win, you realize that you deserve more too, that you can grow as well, your time may come later but you are still worthy of your heart’s desire if it lines up with your destiny.

This is something that I have been working on for a while and it really has kept me on goodcomparison3track. I do not have envy in my life. I feel good about who I am becoming. I spend less time being self-deprecating (not all the way there yet- this will be a long journey for me) and it feels good to have less negative emotions flowing through me.

After comparing yourself, you may look yourself in the face and affirm your values, your own worth, and even bigger, what you want out of life.

In the book, Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holidays says, “Stare at it until you can. Only then you will understand what matters and what doesn’t. Only then can you say no, can you opt out of stupid races that don’t matter, or even exist.

goodcomparison5Stare at it…

Look at it…

Soak in it…

Own your feelings! The more we look at other people and compare our movements with theirs, we will look at where we are and where we wanna be. You will understand what matters to you and what doesn’t. You will learn your worth and act accordingly…

Why Your Squad May Be Hurting You

SquadgoalsOk, so let’s talk about your squad. I am proud to say that I am an introvert but I am a timely social butterfly when life calls for it. At the same  time, I would love to have a squad like that show “Girlfriends.” They had a little bit of everything and that is what friendships are all about.

We do tend to have a wide variety of people in our lives. I have some people that I have communicated with since younger than high school days, people that I have worked with (past and present) that I still talk to, family/friends, and church associates that have squadgoals3become more. I mean, we all should have that one friend that you should never put on speakerphone (this would be me), the one that is always down to eat or shop, and the spontaneous one who is always down to do something crazy.

One thing on the list of changes that I wanna see in my life for this year was having a positive vibes only circle. I mean truthfully, we are all going to have experiences that are trying and cause not-so-positive feelings, but having a squad that you can count on to bring you out of depression and add value to your life is a gold mine.

Consider who your people are…and what you actually need. Then think about this… yousquadgoals2 are a reflection of the people that you surround yourself with.

That means you need to think about who you want to be…Do you want to be positive? Driven? An entrepreneur? A go-getter? Empowered? That means that you need to get around those that are where you want to be or are working on going in the same direction so that you can motivate each other and hold one another accountable.

Take stock. Look at your closest friends and ask yourself if they challenge you, elevate you, listen to you, hold you accountable, or add value to you. Remember that the people squadgoals4that you are spending most of your time with are the ones that will impact your mindset so you have to make sure that you are on common ground for the most part if you are ready to grow and have that positive mindset. Do not invest your time in people that drain you or drag you down. Do not listen to people that tell you that you are dreaming too big or that you cannot do something. Weed those suckers and dream-killers out of your immediate circle.

Positive Vibes Only!!!!

Sometimes it is hard for us to see the ones that are draining us. Check on yourself after you have spent a little time with your friends/family or after a phone conversation. How do you feel? Are you drained, sad, worrying? If they are one of those people that you roll your eyes at when their name comes across your phone..they are one of THEM!

squadgoals1We have to stop allowing negative thoughts to set up camp in our brains. They are going to come but that does not mean they can stay. And that means the negative people as well! If it or they are not going to add to you and help you be your best self…they need to keep their distance. Spend less time with them! Don’t answer every call, especially when you are having an excellent day. Do not get me wrong, none of us is perfect, but we can work toward having what we need in order to be who we desire to be. Paying attention to who is surrounding us is an act of self-love and self-care so do not feel guilty for creating a space between you and them.  We want to spend most of our time with people who inspire us, encourage us and enrich our lives.

IMG_2120I need a squad around me that consistently build me up and add value to me. I deserve that because that is the kind of friend that I am. I truly want to be surrounded by a bunch of beautiful badass women! There are so many of you out there and you deserve the same. Choose wisely. There is no rush. Where you are going, not every friend you presently have is equipped to go, know that. And that is ok!

You should want your friends to be whole and happy and they should want the same for you. You should want those same friends to not be afraid to call you out on your BS because you would give them the same. They should be ready to celebrate with you, mourn with you, and push you when you get lazy. When you have friends that support you and check on you, and even tell you when you are being an ass, you have everything…Congratulations!

Taking This and Leaving That!

2019We are here…standing right at the end of our year, 2018. It was an interesting year, that is for sure. It did bring a lot of heartaches, but it also brought some of the most beautiful moments of my life. I have learned so much from so many new “friends” and experiences and…I am so thankful for the additions and subtractions of 2018.

I know a lot of people are making New Year resolutions, but I stopped doing that to myself years ago. I do not want to keep promising myself things and breaking the promise at the next available moment. It is important to me that something changes every year; that I grow in some way toward being a much better woman. 20192

Our homes are full of things that we have collected over time. Whether we brought those things in, or someone stopped by and dropped them off, our homes are full or both what we need and what we can live without.  Just like our hearts and minds…full of things we can use going forward and those other things that need to be discarded in order to be lighter on our feet going into the new year.

There are so many treasures in your “home”. Think about it, the happy endings, the belly laughs, the new relationships/friendships, the sweet intentions you had for others and others have had for you…all of the YESSES! You have had times when you were kind to yourself, fought and stood up for yourself, have shown your strength and tenacity and have attempted with success to be good to many people. When you think about those things, these are the things that you should take with you into the new year.

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On the other hand, we have a whole lot of mess in our “homes”. We have the things that are obvious and those things that we have swept under the rug. No matter how much we have swept and dusted the common areas that everyone can see when they come in, we have clutter!! Clutter that we hide in the closet, under the beds, in some dark corner or attic. Let me jog your memory…Do you remember all of the negative things that you have said to yourself this year? What about the ugly things you have done to yourself or you allowed others to do…you ate some bad food, over-worked, under-slept, and you allowed people to treat you like less than you are worth and/or be toxic toward you in your personal space. Let’s leave these things behind and move onward and upward!!

20194Now, I am not saying completely clean it all out because we don’t want to get rid of the lessons that came with all of those negative things, We have some memories that we are now fond of, qualities and characteristics that were earned the hard way, and plenty of lessons we need going forward. We have to take our time and sort through, think through it all and keep what will be beneficial.

It is time to face this new year with excitement and motivation. Sure, you can make a new year resolution or two….or twenty. Just make a promise to yourself that you can work with daily, for a long period of time. Take it one day at a time and put you first every once in a while. After that “home” of yours is cleaned up, it will feel bigger and will have room for what 2019 is going to bring. Be aware of everything and live with intention. Try not to miss a thing!!!

Blessings to you and Happy New Year!!

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What NO SLAVE November taught me.

noslavenovember2Don’t be jealous, but I only worked one week in November. I did not have to run around for the boys and home or slave over a hot stove cooking meals…. all of November!!! Ok, you should be jealous.

Anyway, I was out there in the deep blue sea taking time to recharge and to also plan. On my vacations I do want to rest, but I also take time to do something I have never done each day and I have my quiet time to think and plan my next moves, or think about what changes I would like to see in my home and within myself.  I am also a people watcher. Observing others help me to sometimes see myself and what I do not like about me that should change.

noslavenovember3We have to be honest with ourselves. No one wants to waste time, money, and energy while we make our mistakes. That is why it is important that we make an effort to learn from our mistakes. Of course, learning from our mistakes takes time. Some of us have to bump our heads on the same rock before we realize how much it really hurt right? On my vacations, I think about the past a lot; not to beat myself up but for reflection on the lessons and to pat myself on the back for getting through it all.

Sooooo….Some things that I have learned from my mistakes……

  • You do not know eerrrything!!!!! I know that this comes to a shock from some but it is true. We truly need to listen to the people that are smarter than us. We know who they are but we do not want to admit it. There are things that you want to achieve and many have come before you so be humble and surround yourself with those that can help. They say no man is an island…it’s true! Life is about fulfilling your destiny, collaborating with like minds and experiencing good while doing it.
  • Stop blaming others! I am so tired of hearing people blame others even for the smallest of things. I was at Red Lobster the other day and the girl never brought out my biscuits. At the end of my meal when she was bringing a box I asked her if I can get some biscuits since she never bought any out at all. We are at the end of the meal and she says “I am still waiting for them to bring some out of the oven.” Meanwhile, she had given some to her other to nearby tables. Just say you forgot and own your shit!! This is a small example and people do it on a much bigger scale at times….come on. Just own your part and move on!!!
  • Love is not what you think it is. A lot of us have a twisted way of thinking when it noslavenovember1comes to love. When others do not live up to those expectations, we flip out or leave. I don’t know whether you see it or not but that is called conditional love and a lot of people are guilty of it and protest when it is given to us. This is a hard lesson to learn and I am still learning it now. We have to let go of our expectations about love. We have to take the time to learn the person you want to love and love them the way they need it, not to your specifications. You will be a lot happier if you just cut people a break and teach them how to love you and learn how to love them.
  • You don’t have as much time as you think. When you were a teenager or younger, you thought that time was endless. You can do what you want, go wherever…..then BOOM, you’re 40! How much time have you wasted on things and people that did not matter? Do you like your job? The people in your life? You have to think about what you are doing with your time. We do not like when other people waste our time so why do we do it to ourselves?
  • Doing the hard things give me more pleasure in the end. I can say that I truly am NoSlaveNovemberin the mood to be quite lazy right now. At the same time I am thinking about focusing on my health, saving money, investing time on my blog and business…and in my relationships. These are all hard for me but my plan is to get on it! When we do the “hard” things, we end up feeling really good about them when accomplished. Tired after the gym….hugs from friends and family….feedback on the blog….money in my account from my business….I always feel a sense of accomplishment and it feels really good. I feel like I am doing more than existing…I am alive.
  • Every little decision we make affects the bigger things. We have to put some thought into what we are thinking. Thinking about that extra piece of pie, sleeping in later, skipping the gym, spending on the credit card to get that new Iphone or laptop. How is this decision going to affect your future? Will the outcome be favorable for your future? Remember that your life is the way it is because of a series of your smaller decisions. We are what we do daily…think about that and adjust accordingly.
  • Never Stop learning. We all know this. We have to keep learning or get left behind in this world of technology that we live in. We want to continue to learn more and develop more as a person. When you are not learning, you begin to feel stuck. It’s time to learn something, a hobby, read a new book, do something! We should push ourselves to learn something often, maybe even daily, no matter how small. noslavenovember4