Posted in Lifestyle

10 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts For Anyone

Whether your Valentine is your husband, wife, best friend, pet, or child, you know that they love you for who you are without the gifts right? If you don’t have the time to stress over making a homemade gift, you can go to good ol’ Amazon to buy gifts that can still be delivered by Valentine’s Day. If you are Amazon Prime, your delivery is fast and at no extra cost.

If you like to keep things classic with the flowers, candy and balloons, or go for something unique and/or sentimental, Amazon has so many cool ways to say “I love you”! Here aere some of the things that I found…

  1. Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet. These are really cool if your love is into essential oils and mood boosters. You just add two or three drops to the felt pad to release the tension and stress of the day. $17.99
  2. Talk, Flirt, Dare: Date night Box set. This seems like a fun game to play with a spouse, or potential mate. You just pull a card from one of the three decks and you are guaranteed to have some help keeping the spark (and the conversation) flowing. $24.95
  3. For the wanderlust in your life, I found The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big and Small. Give your traveler what they really need…some inspiration for their next adventure. There are hundreds of destinations in the U.S and beyond in this book for wandering pleasures. I am definitely someone who wants to see the world so I may grab this one for myself! $21.99
  4. Initial Heart Bar Necklace. For your jewelry lover, Amazon has a budget-friendly dainty little necklace. It a has a luxe look with an engraved initial and it is finished in a rose gold coating that is hard-to-rust. $13.99
  5. Unicorn Musical Jewelry Box. Every little princess needs a jewelry box! When this jewelry box is opened, your little lady will hear a sweet tune and watch the unicorn begin to twirl. She can fill with her favorite jewelry, trinket, notes and more. $13.95
  6. Dune Buggy Toy Building Kit. Keep your little man busy with this 177-piece kit from Lego. Your little one can build a two-in-one dune buggy, which also transforms into two off-road vehicles. It even comes with a built-in jack so that he can prop the car up for a quick tire change. $ 12.99
  7. Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager. I know you don’t mind giving your guy a back rub occasionally, but let’s admit it, there are kinks that we just can’t work out. Luckily for you, this massager has three different speeds to knead any tired, tight, or aching back and shoulder muscles that he may have. I have one and they truly work the knots out. $52.99
  8. A Beer Subscription! I was really surprised to see this but it is really cool for the person that is into craft beers. They gift you the option of subscribing to receiving high-quality craft beer either monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. The subscription can be 12 or 24 bottles at a time straight to his/her door. $42.00
  9. Tile Pro. If you have someone in your life that loses things, namely keys alot, I am just going to say you are welcome! They no longer have to be frustrated about losing their keys, wallet, or phone. They can attach this little Bluetooth tracker to whatever easy-to-lose device they have. There is an App that will ring the tile if it is nearby which will help cut down on search time.$34.98
  10. Wooden Picture Frame. Gift-giving should not be a contest at this time but this sweet frame would definitely put you ahead of the game. You can definitely show your partner how you really feel with this frame. Put a sweet or silly picture in the frame to complete the gift. $17.99

Over $18.2 billion is spent on Valentine’s Day each year around the globe. Is it a celebration made up by some brilliant brand marketers or and actual holiday? Who really knows. Regardless of how we feel about it, it is responsible for an uptick in global business every February. A Simple card can go a long way and every gift does not have to be tangible. Experiences can have more value than a bouquet of flowers, especially if who you are buying for someone who has just about everything. Whatever you buy, make, or do for your loved ones this year, make sure it is from the heart and comes with a big hug.

Posted in Lifestyle

How To Start Owning Your Decisions

decision2I know that I do not speak for myself when I say that I was truly ill-equipped to make my own decisions as a young woman. From parents not allowing us to make small decisions as children to our friends and family imposing their personal opinions and desires on us as we grow into adulthood and beyond. There are different reasons for us all…reasons that we just did not get enough practice making our own decisions.

As we continue to grow, the sources of doubt may change. Does anyone have a mother-in-law that questions the decisions that you make when raising your children? Maybe it happens in your work environment because it doesn’t foster or support your talent. Most of us really want to feel so confident in our decisions that even when there is an opinion contrary to our own, we find the strength to keep moving ahead. Is this even possible? YES!

I have been through a lot and have had to live with the decisions of others on my life for decision1many years. I just didn’t know any better. We always think that people have our best interest at heart when the truth is, they have THEIR best interest at heart, not yours. “If it were me….” is how they are thinking when they are telling you what you should do. Guess what? YOU are not them! Only you can make decisions for you. I am definitely someone who still struggles with this…but much more rarely than my younger years. This is all part of some things that I am working on in year 46 (yes I said it!) Although it can be hard at times, in the end, we will grow and learn and cope better with decisions that we have made on our own. You can’t blame anyone if you pulled the trigger right?

So why do we struggle with decision-making?

  • Care what others think about what we do and say
  • Feelings of guilt and shame
  • Lack of self-love. When we are here, it is hard to trust ourselves or feel secure in what we do decide for ourselves.

 

Please understand that guilt is a healthy emotion because it does help us with the changes we do need to consider in our lives. Now when turning guilt into a sign that we are incapable or unworthy, then it becomes shame…Shame is destructive for us. THAT, we need to rid ourselves of for real. We also need to free ourselves from being people decisions3pleasers! We will never get where we want to go if we are concerned with how someone else is gonna feel about it. More than likely, they are not paying attention to how you feel when they make moves for their own lives. We need to deliver ourselves from caring how others feel and start to feel and listen to our bodies and minds. Tune in to what we desire and if we are called to do it, we need to move on that! We need to get to know ourselves, what we love and what we can do without. We need to do things that we love, be around people that love and support how we treat ourselves and have the desire to treat us well. We need to trust ourselves in our own hands. Why is it that we speak kindly to others and support their dreams but we turn our back on our own dreams and speak unkind words to ourselves? What the heck is wrong with us?!! We need to spend time building ourselves up while we are cheering everyone else on…periodtttttttttt

For most of my life, I knew what I wanted. I lost confidence in myself because I was always asking people for advice…I can’t even tell you why. I would ignore my gut feelings and take the advice of people who hardly even knew me, let alone my heart and intentions.

“The vast majority of advice you’ll receive comes from a place of love. But ultimately we have to make our own choice based on what’s best for us. You’ll never make a decision 100% of people will accept as a great decision. That’s ok. Don’t let people who don’t decisions5matter too much, matter too much.” -Wes Moore.

We need to stop taking surveys before we make moves in our own lives. Mind our own business!

Now many of us play the victim like we did in childhood. We resort to being passive about what we want and we play the blame game when things don’t work out the way we envisioned it.  Most of us learned at a young age how to play the victim. We were raised in families that acted from fear and it crippled us when it came to trusting ourselves to do what was right for us. People that live in victim mode always pity the hand that they were dealt and focus on how people have mistreated them. They feel sorry for themselves even when things are not going so bad.

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When they look at vulnerability, they do not see it as an offense to be open to learning and growing and success, they see it as dangerous and weak and go on the defense

Playing the victim will undermine your joy and success with self-destructive behavior. We have to choose to take responsibility and create a life that we will truly enjoy.

“If we tell our story in a way that disempowers us we won’t know that we matter even in the midst of the story.”- Iyanla Vanzant

We need to use good judgment while making decisions for our lives and we are more than capable of doing it without the help of others. We choose who or what we believe…even when we listen and do what someone tells us, we are choosing to listen and obey. We need to examine what we hear and weigh it against our own sense of truth…and if you pray…pray about it! Do what feels right after you give it some thought, even if it goes against what someone told you to do. You’re allowed to create your own path without apologies.

If I may say this…We are responsible for who we are regardless of how we were raised. We have to know this and not continue to blame our past for what we are doing 30 years later in the present.

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Posted in Lifestyle

You Are Not Broken!

notbroken1For many years, I really spent a lot of time doubting myself. Always wishing that I had a different body or looked different, had a better financial situation or a different life.  It took me a moment but I did realize that I needed to accept myself, the way I was…right then.

We have to learn to acknowledge who we are…now…and accept that person…today…

Why do spend so much time and energy fighting the truth? We do it consciously and subconsciously. Why are we always wanting to be someone else, do something that someone else is doing, wanting to be a different person, look a different way, or carrying ourselves a different way? We really need to get to the point where we accept who we are.  There is a quote by Kurt Cobain, “wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are.”

I listen to a lot of podcasts, read books, blogs, and all of that… We can do that all day! We can repost all the inspirational quotes and memes but that just is not going to make up for that lack of self-acceptance that we may have. IF we want to grow…we have to knowIMG_E1086 where we are now and accept ourselves.

So where can we start?

First of all…YOU ARE NOT BROKEN!

You cannot improve on what you have not accepted. Know that you are not broken. Have faith in this…Live by this!

We all have things that we do not like about ourselves. We have flaws and insecurities and hiccups happen in our lives. That does not mean that something is wrong with us. Even with all of our flaws and mishaps, we are enough! We have a purpose and can continue to grow into a better person.

Wanting to improve yourself is proof that you have power. Setting goals, wanting bigger and better, being inspired to want more….all motivating but we also have to accept who we are and appreciate where we are NOW and allow that to be the foundation for where we are headed. Thinking about our brokenness, whether it be physical, spiritual, emotional, etc, is never going to help you grow into the person you really want to be.

notbroken2Again…YOU ARE NOT BROKEN!

We can look at the things in our lives that we believe are not where they should be and want to make them better. That is ok. I have learned to stop ignoring the things that I don’t like about myself. I am working on acknowledging and accepting them, maybe even love them. Many try to hide or fix whatever we feel is flawed so that no one notices. I remember how stressful that was for me! What a heavy load to carry.  And for what?!

Eventually, you are gonna have to take the makeup off, remove the shapewear, or come clean about what you have experienced in your life. We are gonna have to admit it (whatever that is) and think about how much better you are going to feel once you do. Think about the cleansing…the weight lifted! That is what happens when you stop ignoring what you don’t like about yourself. Nothing wrong with dressing up and accentuating to look your best. I am saying that you should still love the person you are underneath all of the adornment.

So at the end of the year, I wrote a list of things that I wanted to change about myself. Not a resolution, just self-evaluating and looking to improve. I have a few times in the year that I do this; another day is my birthday. I look at where I am and think about where I wanna go next. Some of the things I wrote were…I am not confident, I need to work on this belly, I am not where I wanna be in my blogging…etc…That was me, putting my cards on the table, owning my thoughts…then I threw it away! Why, because I can accept DSC_2694where I am and work toward improving what I want to. I know it sounds silly to make the list but it was therapeutic for me. I also write down what I DO like about myself so that it doesn’t feel like a negative activity. Seeing it all on paper made it more real and helped me to accept what I love and what I do not like. I love my heart toward others, that I am generous, curious, motivated and empathetic….those things matter to me just as much as what I do not care for about myself. After all, it is the good and the bad (or our perception of good and bad) that makes us who we are right?

Take some time to get real with yourself. Confirm that you are that b*tch…flaws and all!

I am not always the best mom, friend, coworker…I am shy at times, not always confident, hardly ever bold, awkward, nerdy, and I don’t always like the way I look. BUT I am also a super caring, energetic, funny, curious, empathetic, powerful and kind woman and I own it ALL.

I am that b*tch! I am she…right now! Today! I am gonna own that ish…. (two snaps in a circle- I just aged myself right?)  I am not gonna ignore my flaws or hope that no one else sees them.

notbrokenJust thinking about it makes me feel stronger and frees me from the judgment of others and myself. I’m gonna move through my days with confidence and self-assurance. This girl is gonna stop judging herself and give my back to others when they attempt to pass judgment on me (your poo stinks too -shrugs).

We are in control of our thoughts and how we judge ourselves so watch what you say!

 

Own all of who you are…the good and not so good. Improve what you can and accept what is just part of who you are. You are THAT b*tch and you are enough and not broken. You are YOU! Own that and grow into who you are capable of becoming…

 

 

 

Posted in Lifestyle

My Top 5 Shows to Binge During the Holidays

bingingSo I know that many people have taken time, or have been given time off during the holidays. For me, any time that I take, I wanna relax. I am more of a reader but I do love when I can find a good show to binge. I know…binging can be so bad! Your diet goes out of the window and you do not get much done. It’s the holidays!! We can act up just a little…right?

Anyway, like I said, I am more of a reader but I have found a few TV shows that I have grown to love. If I watch Tv, I am usually stuck on Food Network or HGTV. but here are some of my new loves…

  • The Mandalorian. This is a live-action Star Wars series that is centered around a  bounty hunter who is sent to obtain a very important asset. There are 8 episodes and you can watch Season 1 on Disney+
  • Why Women Kill. This one is like a soapy dramedy with three married women binging3living in three different decades, each of them dealt with infidelity in their relationships. You can watch this one on CBS All Acess.
  • Evil on CBS.  This show is about a psychologist, a contractor, and a priest-in-training that get together to investigate the supernatural occurrences that continue to happen. They are trying to figure out if there are really “otherworldly” things happening. You can watch it for free on CBS.com
  • Undone. This dramedy follows a girl named Alma who is searching for the truth about her father’s death after she was the survivor of a near-fatal car accident. There are 8 episodes in Season 1 and you can watch it on Amazon Prime.
  • Watchmen. This drama is set in an alternate reality where superheroes are not binging1allowed, though some are still present and acting as vigilantes. One of my favorite actresses is Regina King so I had to try this one out.  She plays an ex-cop who experiences a tragic event that turns her life upside down. Season 1 for this one is now streaming on HBO GO or HBO NOW.

I do occasionally watch a couple of others but right now, these are my favs.  I am going to be doing less binging in the coming year to give more time to my passions. The word binging by definition means indulging in an activity to excess. Excess means that it is too much! Maybe I will reduce it to one show…and more books!

What TV shows are you now binging on? let’s share!

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Posted in Lifestyle

I Stopped Chasing Perfection

perfectionI think have spent most of my adult life chasing a certain number in my bank account, a certain number on the scale…friends…careers…you know where I am going. I wanted everything that made me look like I had it all together. I know that I am not the only one.

SO….what “perfect” thing have you been chasing after?perfection2

  • the perfect person
  • the perfect body
  • the perfect career
  • the perfect love as only seen in movies
  •  other people’s approval
  • perfect physical successes such as money and thing

???? Have you gone crazy yet trying????

I QUIT!!! I really stopped chasing after the perfect versions of what I want in this life.  Now, I am not saying that wanting perfect, or more/better is wrong…actually, it is great! I am just not going to obsess about it.

What we see on television, social media, magazines, and in our environment and call perfection are not definite things. There will always be better, more, or more perfect versions of those things somewhere. When we are chasing that certain something, we are never going to be satisfied or feel accomplished or successful or whatever emotion you feel after you have it because it will not be enough once you have it. Perfection is just perfection1not attainable!  Only God is perfect…so I QUIT! I have taken off my shoes because I know that if I am chasing perfection, I will always be chasing perfection and that is no way to live your life.

I am, however going after what I want in this life. I have set my vision…even have a vision board! I am just not putting finish lines in my path that says, “this will be perfect” once I have it.

Nothing is perfect. There are no perfect people, jobs, no perfect time, body…and happiness won’t feel perfect and doesn’t last forever.

That should not make you sad…I am actually happy about that. My life now is about embracing the fact that my life is not and will not be perfect and that’s ok. I am embracing every bump, bruise, and dimple that makes me, me. Life is about falling in love with another imperfect person, embracing your imperfect self and heading into the sunshine and the storms together, not knowing how it will end and knowing that you will not be alone in it.

We live in an imperfect world and there are going to be many curves in the road along this journey.  Now that I have stopped chasing perfection and have opened my mind to my beautiful imperfect self, things are starting to just feel right. I live in my present and accept and embrace it for what it is…mine.

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If you stop chasing this “perfect” person, someone will come into your life who is probably the total opposite of what you were looking for, but they are everything your soul needs.

If you stop chasing acceptance from everyone, you will have time to get to know you and fall in love with and clap for yourself.

If you stop chasing that “perfect” person’s body, you will have time to pursue your best health and be able to celebrate your growth and life change.

If you stop chasing money… you will discover that success can be found in places that you never even thought of.

In my quiet time, I learned more about myself and quieted my soul so that I could find out what I really needed. When I stopped chasing perfection, I found out what my soul needed. Amazing things happened when I stopped…and it is not easy. Now I appreciate what I do have, and I can truly say that I am happy.

perfection3We should not wait until our lives are perfect before we fall in love with living…that is never going to happen! We should love the gift of life in spite of the flaws that it shall bring because we know it will not be perfect. We need to live in spite of a life that is far from perfect. We should live boldly and maybe even a little wild with a hunger for our deepest desires.

It is what life is all about right?!

Posted in Lifestyle

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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Posted in Lifestyle

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.