Just then…I realized I was a “Good Mom!”

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If you are a dedicated parent, your number 1 priority in life is to be a good/great parent.  With all you may do, you may not always hear it or know it, especially if your child is too young and haven’t quite learned to express gratitude.

Being a “good mom” is a bit nuanced.  We may all have different descriptions for what we think being a good parent is.  The moment I truly realized I was a good mom was this past Saturday night at the Queens Night International Market in Corona, NY, as I watched my daughter dancing on the dance floor from a far, with joy, excitement, and satisfaction.  This is obviously not the first time I’ve witnessed my daughter having a fun and exciting time, but it gave me the moment to reflect on how I think I contributed to it, and what I am continuing to do to make sure she is always happy and fulfilled.

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Perhaps, it’s my ‘drop everything and go’ attitude when she needs me.  It doesn’t matter the place or time that I get a phone call about my daughter, I’M THERE WITHIN A BLINK OF AN EYE! Or perhaps it’s the countless amount of hours I’ll spend researching schools to learn more about the safety, curriculum, staff, diversity, and proficiency on state exams of a school before deciding to send my daughter, because all of these things matter in the development of my little girl (And I’m also an educator, which may make me more annoying in that aspect :)) . Or perhaps it’s the fact that I won’t dare go on a vacation in a year without making sure she travels too.  There’s no way I could travel the world without my daughter getting to see it as well.  Or perhaps it’s choosing to spend more money living in a neighborhood that was ‘family oriented’ and safe for my daughter to play outside.  Or perhaps it’s working at a retail store years ago, fresh out of college with a Mathematics degree making minimum wage, JUST so I could have enough change to buy my daughter gifts for her first Christmas. Or perhaps it’s the sleepless nights from completing essays and working on complex math problems with my infant sleep in my arms as I fought through Graduate School, because I just needed to be successful not just for me any more, but for her!….and so on………

I’m sure if you are a parent, you have a long list of all the things you’ve done for your child and still doing for your child.  It’s time to take some credit and be proud! Being a parent has BY FAR been my HARDEST and MOST DEMANDING job.  I feel pretty invincible after becoming a mother! For not just doing the basics of my responsibilities, but going over and beyond to make sure I am raising a human being who will one day be able to reflect on their childhood and remember how great they had it! My responsibility of being a MOM is sooooo huge! I am humbled by the opportunity to raise a future leader, who I’ve taught from now to advocate for themselves, to respect themselves and others, to value education, and to love the skin they’re in.

How do I self-identity??….AS A MOM! 🙂

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Instagram Famous!

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Today’s blog post piggybacks off of the ‘Nowhowthatsound’ podcast! (Check it out @ https://soundcloud.com/howthat-sound/episode-two !!) I had the honor of joining my hubby and my brother on their second episode this past Sunday, and the main topic of discussion was…SOCIAL MEDIA! To be honest, when I found out this would be our topic, I was so excited to partake in the conversation!!! There were just a ton of ‘CONS’ I could not WAIT to discuss, as you may notice, as you listen to the podcast! LOL! But I was challenged to think FIRST about the benefits that come along with social media. Take a look at some of the things we named below……

pros

 

PROS

  • Exposure for talented individuals
  • Keeps us informed about information that isn’t necessarily discussed within mainstream media and news outlets.
  • Keeps us connected with friends and families!
  • Inexpensive for marketing and advertisement
  • Dating/Meeting new people

Cons

  • Exposure for NON-talented individuals
  • Misleading information
  • Cyberbullying
  • Societal images of “beauty” and “perfection”
  • Infidelity
  • May advertise and/or glorify negative behaviors (influences ignorance)
  • Time consuming (Time missed with loved ones because of the constant need to be on social media)
  • DRAMA!!!

 

……….Just to name a few!

 

balance

Long story short, social media has many things to offer, both beneficial and detrimental.  I think balance plays an important role in how well you manage using it.  I have watched some people become completely obsessed with the need to constantly post pictures of what they’re eating, drinking, wearing and going, that I doubt they had any time to enjoy whatever it was they were taking a picture of.  As an educator, I’ve watched social media tear down self-esteem and strip away self-respect from young adolescents, who just don’t know any better than to overthink and go TOO far with social media! During our conversation on the podcast, we even talked about ADULTS needing social media to help boost their self-confidence! What has social media, and SOCIETY done to us where we crave likes and comments SO MUCH, to the point that it ‘defines us’! “It helps us know who we are and assist in helping us feel good about ourselves”…to the point that we NEED it, RELY on it, and must ALWAYS check it!!

The point is…know who you are, have morals, values, and self-love before you get too deep into ‘virtual reality’ aka social media.  If you don’t, social media has the potential to influence the way you feel and think about yourself, alongside many other things…both beneficial and detrimental!

 

There’s just not enough time in the world to talk about all the things ‘Social Media’ entails!……I know I am missing a TON of things on both the Pros & Cons list, and am eager to hear what you would like to add on our list, so please comment below! 😉

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The Thought!

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Hello ALL! 🙂  This long overdue post speaks volumes to the numerous feelings I’ve been having these past few weeks.  The number 1 feeling that pops in my head is…EXHAUSTION!! I had a conversation with a co-worker this week about our current moods, and the best way I could describe mines was an on-going Choo Choo train. LOL! From the time I wake up in the morning, there’s just a trillion things on my daily to-do list, from being a teacher and a mom.  Every night, there are ALWAYS things left on my to-do list that I just never got to!  I struggle with the “thought” of never being able to master one thing or be great at one thing because I’m constantly juggling many things.  From this “thought”, I eventually formed anxiety about 5 years ago (yup, exactly when my daughter was born!)…that’s a whole other blog post in itself!!  Long story short, that “thought” began to fade when I learned to manage my time and energy more wisely.  I got smarter about doing most of my work, AT WORK! Things like grading, homework checks, classwork checks, lesson plan exemplars became a mandatory thing to get done at WORK.  I grew sick and tired of having to deny my daughter my attention when I was home, or just the feeling of being overworked/burnt out!  In the beginning of this school year, I had a bad habit of bringing tons and tons of student work home and was spending many long hours grading, which made cooking dinner, spending time with my daughter, spending time with my boyfriend, and getting my daughter and MYSELF to bed on time, EXTREMELY IMPOSSIBLE!  Yeah, it may sound like I could have been “Teacher of the Year”, but the reality is that there are other things and people who are as, or even more important than just my job.  I didn’t begin to suddenly slack! I just got better and more strategic! I started re-prioritizing the things on my to-do list, and I started adding an extra item on my list daily that had been long missing…time for MYSELF!  As a mom, that is almost a bit impossible, but a glass of wine in bed by 8 or 9pm works well for me! That might explain my strong love for wine, but that’s another blog post in itself! HAHA! 🙂 

My typical day consist of long work hours, cooking dinner, karate classes for my baby girl (certain days), gym (a girl is trying to be fit!), shower times, and etc. There are many days when I just don’t want to get out of bed, because the duties that await me are long and exhausting. But what I have found is that the key is managing YOUR time and being strategic about how you spend it!  The change in my mindset have alleviated a lot of my previous stress and anxiety that I very recently battled with (The anxiety is still a work in progress for me!).  There are still plenty of days where I just have not had enough time for myself, but I know this will get better with time and skill.  The most important part is adding the time in your schedule in the first place…to relax and just unplug!

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Having personal time, should no longer be something we long for! It should be something we LIVE for, to sustain a healthy and happy life!

Add YOU, to YOUR schedule!……

 

Invisibility is a SUPERPOWER!

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mysteryI do not force my blog post.  Even though I would love to make them very often, I write a post when the spirit moves me, and when a thought is at the forefront of my mind. I like to be as authentic as possible. Right now, I am thinking about the power of silence, and privacy, specifically in a relationship.  I have always been a private person when it comes to my relationships.  Every relationship that I have been in, it has always been my hope that it would last long term.  With that being said, I have always been very conscious and cautious of the things I shared with family and friends, to avoid judgement of the person I was dating or my relationship.  I truly believe in the importance of keeping things that are DEAR…NEAR!  NOW!, if you are in a toxic, unhealthy relationship, and need help…PLEASE SPILL THE BEANS! Privacy is not your key! 

The absolute worst thing anyone could do is use social media as a way to express their current sadness, anger, or feelings about someone they are in a relationship with and who they truly care about.  1. It is just your current mood or feeling, give yourself a few hours or a few days and you may feel different! (I’ve learned to manage my emotions, I’ve come a long way! With still someways to go 🙂  2.  It is PURE entertainment for the people on the other side of that screen!  How do I know???! Because I am one of those people who will be entertained!  The second you decide to share your emotions on social media about your significant other, you just signed up for LOVE & HIP HOP! The audience is READY for the messiness.  One of the worst parts of it ALL, is that all of your feelings that you are expressing are REAL, but the majority of the people in the audience could careless about them.  Another one of the worst parts about it is that it doesn’t affect the person you are doing it for the way you TRULY want it to.  Now, I’m not talking to those of you who just don’t know how to control your anger, so you go on social media to try and make a fool out of someone, but I’m talking to those of you who REALLY do care, and want it to work with the person you’re expressing feelings about.  Your significant other should NEVER be the last person to know about your true feelings, AFTER you’ve already expressed them to your social media audience.  It is even WORSE to receive a phone call or text from a friend about what you wrote!  If you genuinely respect and love the person you’re with, MAKE SURE they are the first and last person you talk to about it! Keep your eyes on the prize! Don’t let your big mouth, destroy it!

I know you may think this is funny…but I’ve ALWAYS taken pages out of Beyonce’s book! I admire the person she is and how private she is about things that just simply DO NOT CONCERN US! As much as I love Beyonce, and as much as I want to believe we’re related/family….WE’RE NOT! I’m just a person in the audience.  We love to imagine and make inferences about unhappy her and Jay-Z are based off her songs, and rumors…but the best part is that we’ll never really know.  After her interview with Oprah, where Oprah told her to keep her relationship private…I’ve always tried to do the same!  All that anyone should ever know is that each of you RESPECT and LOVE one another…and that’s technically of all mine and your business.

INVISIBILITY IS A SUPERPOWER!   KEEP YOUR BUSINESS INVISIBLE! 🙂 

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I’m Looking At The “Wo”man in the mirror.

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I am very excited to do this blog post on something that I’ve always thought about as a woman.  I want to first give you some context on where this blogpost is coming from…Quick story: My boyfriend threw me a surprise birthday party at our apartment this past Friday, and it was totally AMAZING! 🙂 Long story short, my fabulous sister did my make up, and did an outstanding job!  (Follow her @beatsbyreese on IG!).  I usually do not like to wear make up, and if I do it must look as natural as possible.  I worry about bright make up colors on my very light complexion, I’m afraid of looking like a clown! LOL!…..My sister had only taken a picture of me with my makeup and had forgotten to take a picture of me before the makeup.  She needed a before and after picture of my face to showcase her talents on her page. 🙂 So, the next morning I took the most natural picture of myself, fresh out the shower, and NO MAKE UP AT ALL, to send her my before shot!  If you could just get a peek at my photos on my phone, you would notice that I had taken the picture about a thousand times because I was dissatisfied with the ‘natural’ picture of myself, and I knew she would be posting this picture on social media! After every picture I took, I yelled out to my boyfriend, “This picture is ugly!”, “Ewwl, look at my dark circles around my eyes!”…Because my boyfriend is just too cute, he replied “Well, you’re not ugly, so I’m sure the picture is just fine!” However, that cute comment just wasn’t enough! At that point, I just didn’t want to send the picture to my sister anymore because I just couldn’t capture the best natural picture.  So then I asked my boyfriend to take the picture for me, I thought maybe he could capture a better picture, maybe a better angle that would lighten my dark circles around my eyes…. BUT THE PICTURES CAME OUT THE SAME! At that moment, I paused and thought to myself….”Why am I so dissatisfied with my most NATURAL picture of myself?”, “What has caused me to feel and think this way?”, “How many other woman are too scared, worried, or ashamed to show their REAL selves?”.  As you may notice in the picture below, I have NO blemishes! But there is still something I was still worried about the people on social media seeing. Is it because almost EVERY woman on social media show their most “beautiful” selves by using make up and filters?? Or perhaps it was the dark circles around my eyes that just do not go away, that had me feeling less confident! I was contemplating putting on just a little bit of concealer to hide the darkness around my eyes, but then I wasn’t sending my sister a makeup less picture! I fear that my black circles make me look like a zombie, especially when I’m tired.  However, I think that people in our society do not DARE to post our most natural faces or walk out of our houses without something to cover up our insecurities! (Let’s be clear! I walk out the house ALL THE TIME bare faced) but if I post a picture to social media, I prefer a filter just to lighten or hide my “raccoon eyes”!.  Long story short, I finally chose a picture that I was “somewhat” okay with my sister using on her Instagram, and sent it to her. The picture below is the post she posted.  The picture on the left has to be the most natural (mughshot LOL) picture I have ever put on social media, and I have to be honest….it feels GREAT to know that people are getting to see me at MOST natural self…no make up, no filter, no ANYTHING…to hide!

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How many of you fear posting or showing your most NATURAL and BARE FACE to the world? And Why?  If you question your confidence, take a picture of yourself with the most fresh and natural face, and post it to your social media as validation that you TRULY love your natural face! If you’re hesitant….ask yourself why!  If we want others to accept our flaws and all, we must first start with accepting them ourselves, no matter how small or large the flaws are! 🙂

 

 

Create to DECORATE!

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(Art by the beautiful Phoenix <3)

If you get excited by cute little home accessories and chic decorations, then I am sure you were as excited as much as me, when I first moved into my new apartment this past summer.  One of the first things I thought about is…HOW WILL I DECORATE EACH ROOM?!! What will be the theme, the color, the accessories and etc.  Since I am very picky and indecisive, I still haven’t quite figured out how I will decorate some parts of my apartment.  However, I have figured exactly how I want to decorate the walls in my daughters room!! 🙂   After spending hours, in and out of HomeGoods(my fave!), Target, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and etc. weekly, trying to find art and girly decorations to put in my daughters room….one day she came home with a beautiful piece of art, and it HIT ME!  Instead of trying to find decorations in stores, which was already costing me so much time and eventually money, I decided to decorate my daughters room with her VERY OWN CREATIONS! I guess I should also mention that my daughter is quite the artist! And she lovesssss to draw! I usually have a few pictures to choose from a day.  Of course, I only choose her best to showcase in her room unless the decorations would make the room look like a daycare center(which isn’t what I want).  This idea of using my daughter’s art comes with many positives.  The two that sticks out most to me is 1. I will build her confidence and enthusiasm around her love and interest for Art.  Seeing her pictures planted around the room will help her build a sense of pride in her work.  2.  This will also help with making her feel more comfortable in her own room.  We have only been in this apartment for a few months, and she’s JUST getting used to sleeping in her OWN bed, in her OWN room.  I am hoping and thinking that seeing her very own art on the walls will bring her a sense of comfort and ownership of the territory(her room! LOL).

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(Cherry Bomb Tree Art By Yours Truly!)

Now…..I must include that I am quite the artist too!….SIKE! But I am super proud by my masterpiece made (picture above) at a Paint Nite event with my sisters and cousin.  I went on this event, only anticipating having a good time, but I was so excited and surprised by how well my finished product actually came out, so I saved it!  At the time, I wasn’t living in my apartment yet, but I knew when I DID get my apartment, I would somehow incorporate that art, and I did!  Once my boyfriend and I decided that we liked the color sky/baby blue for our living room, I thought AH HA! I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE TO SHOWCASE MY ART! My boyfriend may have not been as excited by the idea of hanging up my art, as much as me…..at the time (LOL), but I knew he couldn’t resist the cuteness once he seen how well it went with my cute blue writing table! 🙂

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I love the idea of creating to DECORATE, to guarantee unique items, as well as a personalized connection with your very own home! 🙂

Now, that I need a bookshelf for all my books, I am looking to create the bookshelf in the picture below (with the help of my boyfriend), from an old door! This unique bookshelf is such a beauty! And I can’t deny that I am digging the vintage look!

If you are interested in decorating your home with real, personalized, and chic style…you should check out Pinterest(as I do) for all the great ideas on how you can CREATE TO DECORATE!

If you have any ideas of your own….PLEASE SHARE! 🙂 🙂

Paint the Walls with Black History!

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The above pictures (on top) are a few of the many pictures placed in the hallways of my school that I teach at.  I am excited to celebrate this month for myself, with my students, co-workers, friends, family and more importantly my daughter.  The month of February isn’t the only month we should spend celebrating and discussing Black culture, and the important people and events that has helped paved the way for Black people, however, it is the month I love to use to provide my students with facts about events and people in Black history. The picture the above (on the bottom), is one of the homework’s I’ve made this month so far for my students Math homework.  This homework provided a fact about Madame CJ Walker, a civil rights activist, who was the first African American women to become a self-made billionaire from her specialized hair products. Working in a school with predominately black students, it is important to me that my students are full aware of their very own potential, as well as, aware of the many Black people in our history who have proven we can be POWERFUL!

How are you celebrating Black history Month, this month?

Valentine’s Day is approaching…..

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I know Valentine’s Day for most of you means flowers, chocolate and a romantic dinner with your loved one.  For me….IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!  The picture above is me spending Valentine’s Day week in St. Marteen and Anguilla with my best friend for my birthday week, 2 years ago! For the past 3 years, I’ve spent my birthday on vacation.  In 2014, I went to Anguilla and St. Marteen.  In 2015, I went to Cancun with my boyfriend for a week, and Disneyworld Orlando the following week to celebrate my daughters birthday. In 2016, I went to NOLA with my boyfriend and then LEGOLAND Florida that summer for my daughters birthday.  I know what you’re thinking, do you ALWAYS spend your daughters birthday in Florida.  Uh yeah! My boyfriend’s family still lives in Florida, which saves us a ton of money in terms of finding somewhere to stay while enjoying all of the great places and things Florida has to offer.  However, this year the circumstances have changed.  This past summer I moved into an apartment with my boyfriend and daughter, and now that we’re paying an hefty rent, birthday plans this year looks different.  My daughters birthday is two weeks after mines and I decided to throw her a birthday party this year for her 5th birthday! What does this mean….I’ll be having a low budget, at home birthday!  I am not too worried, I am excited to see the excitement from my daughter at her birthday party.  I am also learning to accept changes and adjustments as life and responsibilities change.  I am not looking for the most luxurious trip or gift this birthday. I just want to feel special and loved….as I do everyday!

Fun fact about Valentine’s Day: 73 percent of people who buy flowers for Valentine’s Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.

Ladies, how will you make your man feel special and loved, this year?!