Saturday, November 30, 2013

Top 10 November Posts

Well as November comes to a close, so does the national blog posting month challenge. It seems only fitting that I post my top 10 favorite posts from this month (in no particular order). If you missed some, please go back…these are good I promise. Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think!

  1. Do Not Explain. Do Not Repeat.
  2. Release the Cuffs 
  3. Confessions of a Perfectionist 
  4. Work Life Unbalance Part Duex
  5. Calling All Mamas
  6. Don't Take It Personal
  7. Stinky Stuff 
  8. Hope is Dope (the company I mentioned here is having a HUGE 1/2 off everything sale right now code: GIVEME50; you're welcome)
  9. Lesson and Blessing
  10. The Power of Forgiveness

Cobbler Goodness


The only cobbler I have ever made is a peach cobbler. But your girl loves apples too. Time to take on an apple cobbler. Get the recipe here.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Power of Forgiveness

This Thanksgiving season, I have a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful for my family and to be able to cook another thanksgiving meal in a time when so many people don't have money to put food on the table, let alone an extra big meal. I am thankful for another holiday in my own house. I am thankful to be able to pursue my dreams and to have lifters and thrusters (as Joel Osteen calls them) to lift me up and support me on this journey into the next season of my life. Overall, I am just thankful for life. After losing a dear brother in Christ so suddenly, recently I really appreciate being alive and being able to talk to the people I love and care about.
Something else I am thankful for is the power of forgiveness.
Forgiveness.I feel like lately people have been hurtful and rude for no real reason. Most of the time unintentionally but hurtful just the same. I have been hit with a lot of "I didn't mean it that way" "You should've known", or "insert lame excuse for being a jerk here". Do people not think before they before they act and talk anymore? Does no one believe in saying I am sorry and really meaning it? 

The blessing in this though is that I still have peace and a grateful heart because I can forgive --even when they don't ask for it (which is often the case). I really don't have time to harbor resentment. I have so much going on. I think it was Nelson Mandela who once said that holding on to anger is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. So for that reason, I am thankful to be able to forgive. I will not let this season of being hurt and used turn into a lifetime. What others do to me does not define who I am. People's judgement of me and what I do, while at times I may not like it, does not define me either.

Forgiveness and moving forward is a powerful thing. Even more powerful when people don't ask for forgiveness and move forward like things never happened. I am happy to forgive. I am finally ready to release the cuffs and peruse the desires of my heart without dead weight. 

For real this time.     

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Random Things

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

Today I am thankful for a lot of different random things. I am thankful for:

1. Fresh flowers that I decided to go to the store and get since I was up at the crack of dawn today for no reason. 6AM is prime time for grocery shopping. No crowds; no waiting.

2. Friends who tell me about random things like Turducken so when I see it pop up on a recipe blog I am not wondering what the heck it is.

3. Cupcake Moscato D' Asti wine. Where has it been all my life?

4. A kid that loves to play outside...even if it's 30 degrees. His bike ride a few times around the block got me up and moving before I eat all these glorious calories today.

5. Pinterest-without it there would be no Drunken Slow-cooker Cornish Hens today. My first time cooking with wine and it is soooo good. I'm really a ham kind of girl during the holidays but it was nice.

6. Candy brings me joy to actually have time to play and not be stuck on the same level.

7. Friends who bring me sorrel. One of my favorite drinks...before Christmas?!? Hallelujah!

8. New wine glasses. Yeah I've been using champagne flutes...who knew lol.

9. Cooking an excellent dinner by myself (which I don't mind; too many cooks in the kitchen can be annoying). I will be enjoying every morsel.

Mac and Cheese ready for the oven!

10. Toddler nap time. Can it come early today?? I need a nap too.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lesson and Blessing

Sometimes I feel like a broken record but I really believe there is a lesson and a blessing in every struggle. Sometimes we have to be stripped down to nothing to see what we really need to see clearly. I had to have my own struggles to get lessons that I could not have been taught without a struggle. Who can learn when things always go how we want them or when you always get what you want? You can't learn importance of a dollar if you've never be down to your last (or had some struggle with finances). You can't learn that things really don't matter until you have to do without things.

Consumerism is real. I have been guilty. I still like nice things but now, anything that is not a necessity is few and far between (and it has to be on sale or I have to have a coupon lol). If your birthday passes and I don't have extra, sorry boo. We often beg for the pain of the struggle to be relieved but sometimes we have to take time to get our lesson so when we get our blessing, we do not squander it away. I used to be obsessed with name brands and pricey gifts for people but now, none of that matters. I have goals that I want to reach and trying to keep up with the Jones (who are probably broke anyway) isn't one of them.

Struggles are hard. There will be tears, doubt, anger, rejection, and disappointment. However, I really believe that in every struggle, there is a lesson and a blessing.
If you are currently struggling, I challenge you to think about what lesson can you learn from your situation. Where there people or habits you needed to remove from your life? Had you struggled with something in the past and now because you are struggling again you are forced into compliance? I feel like sometimes God calls us to something and we run away (or vice verse), then suddenly we don't have a choice but to get it together. In my own life, I'm always trying to get more fiscally savvy. Whenever I slip, I feel God always guiding my back through struggles. No ma'am you don't need that. You don't have extra to give to ______. It is hard but we are hardheaded (at least I know I am). I am learning the power of delayed gratification for myself and others. We don't have to have everything right now and perfectly the first time. And if people don't like it too bad--do not explain and do not repeat

There is a lesson and a blessing in every struggle. 

Hang in there my sisters and friends.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Calling All Mamas

Have y'all ever watched any of the kids president videos? I watched him interview Beyonce and he was super adorable. I have to find out how he got started in this. Anyhow, here is his Ten Things Moms Need To Know video. Even if you are not a mom, this is HILLARIOUS. Check it out (#5 and #9 are my favorites):

And on a more serious note, just in case you thought you were doing a terrible job as a mom, this video is for you:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Broken Yet Whole

I've been going back and forth about what to write today but I feel like I am coming up short. I have several draft posts but they aren't ready for the world yet. Maybe it's the cold medicine I'm taking. 

I have decided to share a prayer from Colliding with Destiny. It reminds me that sometimes we have to be broken to be made whole again. It also makes me think that even when we are at a breaking point, it is not the end.

Be lifted my friends. 

And have a blessed and hopefully short work week.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekend Ramblings

Lord knows I needed to hit the pause button this weekend. Today's cold weather and a looming cold and cough made me do just that. This week was a whirlwind of grad school and work craziness. By Friday, I felt like I had run a marathon. I hit the pause button and let my weekend translate into so relaxation and rejuvenation. I gave myself a blank check for real.

So, in the last day of my sharing is caring installment for this week here is the article 7 Choices To Survive The Toughest Of Times by Alice Hoffman. I have been having some rough patches these past few months and this article highlighted some things that I really need to do to weather the storm. I've had some amazing highs and brutal lows; but I really believe that all things work together for good so I will continue to press on and this article had some simple but great tips.

As we are wrapping up another year, I will be working on a few of these…some of which I am sure you have heard me say I would work on before but hey, I am a work in progress. Haven't you noticed?

Here are Hoffman's 7 choices that we should to make to survive:

1. Choose to enjoy yourself.
2. Choose whose advice you take.
3. Choose your relatives.
4. Choose how you spend your time.
5. Choose to accept sorrow.  
6. Choose to love who you are.
7. Choose something new.

Read the full article here for more details.

What choices have you made that have helped you weather your storms?  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hope is Dope

These shirts say it all. In an age with so much negativity and messages of hopelessness, I am grateful to see a company stepping outside of the box. Now I am not a fashionista in any sense, but if you are looking for some good quality t-shirts with a message, the write fit is for you! I literally want almost every shirt they have. It is a small business ran by an awesome sister. They have shirts for men and women and you get your order fast. I plan to order more for Christmas gifts. Check them out here today! They really write what we live for real. I can't wait to see what's next.


Be Cared For

As a woman who likes to do it all, it is very hard to take a pause and let someone else do the work (or to even let someone be genuinely nice to you for that matter). I started getting sick earlier this week but kept pressing on. There were meetings to be had, papers to present, etc, etc, etc. But yesterday, two people blessed me through their random acts of kindness and I realized that sometimes you just have to let people do nice things for you. There is nothing wrong with being cared for with no strings attached.

I know that I can't do it all but it is hard for me to let people care for me most of the time. I am learning though that you can let people in, even if only for a few minutes, and blessings can come in through them.You just never know how giving someone a few minutes of your time or just making a small nice gesture will change your day or theirs. For example, last week my work BFF left me some chocolates and a note. Those things came in handy this week for sure! Then I had a conversation with a student a while ago about this book series by Veronica Roth when I noticed him reading it in class--very brief convo; so brief in fact I had forgot about it.  But yesterday this sweet boy brought me his copy since he was done with it so I could read it. Even though I told him I wouldn't have time to read it until winter break and tried to give it back to him, he simply said take as long as you need; you'll love it. What a blessing to end a hectic week.

It doesn't have to be much but let people in when you can and do the same for others too. As I sip a glass of wine tonight and read travel and leisure magazine for the first time, I know I will be blessed and I am grateful for those who care for me even in the smallest of ways. I have been pinning a lot of small gift ideas that I plan to use on Pinterest. Get some idea here. I hope I can care for a few people, just like the cared for me.

Don't block out love. It is really everywhere and we are worthy.

Be loved and lifted my friends. Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 22, 2013


To round off my week of sharing good articles I have read found, here is one about taking care our ourselves. I do NOT do this as much as I would like to but I think that self-care is at the top of my list for 2014. Tammy Plunkett's article Redefining Self-Care has some really good points.

She starts off by saying:

timeoutI also think it's a safe bet that most of you are overworked, have too many responsibilities on your shoulders, and care deeply for the people in your life, going so far as putting their needs before your own. Come on, let's be honest, I do it, too. And at the end of the day after you have taken care of everyone else's needs you are too exhausted to think of all the things the experts say you "should" be doing for yourself.

This is what I hear from the women I work with -- all the time. And then when I challenge them with a self-care assignment, their first instinct is to indulge in a pedicure or a new scented body lotion from the high-end cosmetic counter at the mall. It's a start, but is that real self-care?

I look at real self-care as a holistic practice that affects the body's wellness and the mind's serenity and the spirit's sense of greater purpose. I'm sorry, scented body lotion doesn't cut it in my books.

Well a mani/pedi isn't good enough?? And lavendar isn't enough either?? Yikes! Here some other highlights from the article:

Mind: Start your day with love. When you wake up, and certainly before you start making your mental to-do list, ground yourself in love. Remind yourself of your worthiness before you even get out of bed.

Body: Make taking care of your body a fun endeavor.

Entourage (this was my favorite): Honor and respect your true self. Don't get involved with people or projects that bring you down or suck your life's passion from you. Don't allow toxic people in your life. Learn to say no. You can be compassionate and respectful to others, but be discerning about whom you allow into your innermost life. Be real. Speak up and speak out.

Spirit: Seek out a connection to your spirit. We need a life of purpose: and that is something found only in our spirit. Whether you practice a religion or not, spend some time in spiritual investigation and find your connection.

You can read the full article here.

I currently would say I am strong in the entourage and spirit peace--well still not as consistent as I would like to be in this area but I am getting there. I definitely need to work on mind and body though.

What do you all think? What self-care techniques do you use?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Host a No-Hassle Thanksgiving

I love the holidays. I love the cooking and family time. I love the sweet aromas--pure bliss. I don't usually travel for Thanksgiving, too short for the hassle, so I always cook at home. I always invite people over because I usually have a lot of food. I live by 3 golden rules so I can have the most fun no matter how many people show up: start early, everyone can chop something, and you don't have to make everything from scratch. 

 #3 is big especially for us southern folks (I know I know I am a Cali girl but my dad is from Mississippi so my roots are there too). I do NOT have time for making everything from scratch. My grandma would probably be shocked from the grave to know that I haven't made a cornbread stuffing from scratch in years but ain't nobody got time for that (at least not me). Instead, I buy the Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing mix. Add chicken broth, celery, onions, butter, and a little sage and done. Why would I ever go back?? Find a mix that is right for you. Stove top stuffing isn't so bad either but the Pepperidge Farm brand has more seasoning options and a more "like granny made it" feel.

Another mix I use is for my macaroni and cheese. Kraft home style is your friend. They also have a variety of flavors but I tend to use the classic cheddar. I prepare it as directed on the package sans the bread crumbs and with extra shredded cheese. Once you follow the directions (and add your own cheese), put it in a casserole dish, cover it with more cheese, pop it in the oven and bam! You are done.
Here is how I make it happen:

Thankgiving Menu 2013
Baked Sugared Ham-I usually buy the Smithfield Paula Deen Crunchy Glaze Ham but since she burnt that bridge, I'll buy a Smithfield ham and make my own glaze from Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible. I sitll love me some Paula.
*Turkey (hopefully fried this year J)-if not, my sister makes this.
Sweet Potato Casserole-I use this recipe sans the pecan topping. I top mine marshmallows instead.
Exclusive Recipes from the Southern Cooking BibleSmoked Turkey Neck Green Beans
Macaroni and Cheese
Corn Bread Stuffing
Buttermilk Pie-I use a family recipe for this but you can also find one in the Southern Cooking Bible or on Pinterest I am sure.
My Game Plan
Weekend Before/Mon
Tues Night
Get all the food/ingredients
Start chopping onions celery, etc*
Mix cornbread stuffing and put in dish
Baked sweet potatoes
Mix sweet potato casserole and put in dish
Grate cheese*
Boil noodles/mix mac and cheese and put in dish
*whole family helps with this. If you don't want to bother chopping, you can buy a chopped celery and onion mix from your grocery store.
Prep dessert pie custards
Bake Desserts   Cook greens beans
Prepare ham glaze
Bake ham
Bonus: Prepare Praline French Toast casserole for breakfast (I forget the exact name but it’s like a cinnamon roll)
Bake it and eat it for breakfast!
Eat more! J (it tastes better after a few days)

How do you tackle Thanksgiving? Do you like the craziness or is yours pretty laid back too?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thankful Thursday: A Sound Mind

Power Love And Sound Mind #Plaque

Today I am thankful for a sound mind. There is something to be said about being able to be centered within yourself. We cannot control the chaotic world but I am grateful to have a sound mind to process it all. I am a huge fan of mental health. I think mental check ups are just as important as physical ones. Not everyone has the luxury of having a sound mind or even the wherewith all to get checked out or to stick to a treatment plan; so I am grateful.
I declare to have a sound mind
If you are looking for a mental check up, I would first suggest getting recommendations from friends, family, collegues, etc. Here are some other great resources for finding a therapist too:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Confessions of a Perfectionist

Would you all be surprised to know that I am a perfectionist?

Probably not.

I am a perfectionist but also a procrastinator--to some extent. I love planning and getting things done but sometimes I get so stifled by what I have to do that I can't do anything but get on Pinterest, do something totally unrelated to what I have to do, or watch TV with the hubs.

Anywho, the Huffington Post had an article that has let me know that I am not alone--I don't know if this helps or enables me though lol. Carolyn Gregoire  gave me life with 14 Signs Your Perfectionism Has Gotten Out Of Control.

The article started off like this: If you've ever cried about getting a B+ or ending up in second place, there's a good chance you're a perfectionist. 

Lord if that wasn't me! Is it you too? Please say I am not the only one. Would you believe that I didn't get my first C until my senior year of college? And then I was just about ready to slit my wrists (nevermind that it was in Latin...a crazy hard class). Or would you believe that I cried when I didn't win homecoming queen in high school (like really cried--cause being on homecoming court was not enough). Lately, I have even been angry that I grad school may take me a little longer than I planned. Yes angry that 3 years may be more like 3-4 years--forget that I have a full time job, a part time job, a toddler, and a husband while being a full time student. 

I think I need help. 

Gregoire goes on to list things that profectionist tend to do. Here are my favorites:

You know your drive to perfection is hurting you, but you consider it the price you pay for success.
The prototypical perfectionist is someone who will go to great (and often unhealthy) lengths to avoid being average or mediocre, and who takes on a "no pain, no gain" mentality in their pursuit of greatness. Although perfectionists aren't necessarily high achievers, perfectionism is frequently tied to workaholism.
"[The perfectionist] acknowledges that his relentless standards are stressful and somewhat unreasonable, but he believes they drive him to levels of excellence and productivity he could never attain otherwise," Burns writes.
You're a big procrastinator.
The great irony of perfectionism is that while it's characterized by an intense drive to succeed, it can be the very thing that prevents success. Perfectionism is highly correlated with fear of failure (which is generally not the best motivator) and self-defeating behavior, such as excessive procrastination.
Studies have shows that other-oriented perfectionism (a maladaptive form of perfectionism which is motivated by the desire for social approval), is linked with the tendency to put off tasks. Among these other-oriented perfectionists, procrastination stems largely from the anticipation of disapproval from others, according to York University researchers. Adaptive perfectionists, on the other hand, are less prone to procrastination.
You go big or go home.
Many perfectionists struggle with black-and-white thinking -- you're a success one moment and a failure the next, based on your lastest accomplishment or failure -- and they do things in extremes. If you have perfectionist tendencies, you'll probably only throw yourself into a new project or task if you know there's a good chance you can succeed -- and if there's a risk of failure, you'll likely avoid it altogether. Studies have found perfectionists to be risk-averse, which can inhibit innovation and creativity.
For perfectionists, life is an all or nothing game. When a perfectionist sets her mind to something, her powerful drive and ambition can lead her to stop at nothing to accomplish that goal. It's unsurprising, then, that perfectionists are at high risk for eating disorders.
Help me y'all! Read the rest of the article here. Let me know what you think!

Monday, November 18, 2013

What About Your Friends?

Friendships are essential. I have blogged about my friends multiple times. I came across this article a while back, The Anatomy of Friendship by Aly Walansky and it really struck a cord with me.  Below is the snippet that did it for me. You can read the full article here.  

We just don't have the time anymore
Sure, we thought we had it rough in high school and college -- but in retrospect, that was all youthful naiveté. Many of us now work ceaseless hours and while we may have many people we love spending time with, we all too often just don't have the time to spend. It's hard enough to maintain ties with our dearest friends. Do we have time to add new ones to the mix?

People show you who they really are (and you may not like it)
When we were kids, the worst thing that ever happened in friendships would be that my fifth grade BFF would start sitting with someone else at lunch. It felt tragic at the time, but by the next day, I had a new BFF. It was easy then. Now, when we make and lose friends, the parameters feel a lot larger -- it's very much like a breakup, possibly even a death. There are so many different types of friendship breakups. The people who say they will be there for you, and then ultimately aren't. The people who put you on an impossibly high pedestal -- and then one day tear the chair out from under you. The people who get married or have babies and suddenly just aren't as available as they once were. And, there's the most common type of friendship end in your 30s -- the ones that drift apart. You simply have different interests now, and nothing left to talk about. As I said, it's kind of like a divorce, and just as hard to come back from.
Even with tons of friends, life can be lonely. Especially if these friends are long distance, or people you predominantly chat with on the Internet. No tweet can hug you when you are sad. No email can give you someone to meet for an impromptu happy hour when you've had a bad day.
This has been an incredibly hard year for me, one where a lot of friendships have simply disappeared. And I've discovered that maybe, as you get older, it's not the same anymore. You don't need to have loads of friends. You need to have a few really good ones. And when you manage to have that -- and, praise the lord, I do -- treat them like the gold they are. You'll never have a more precious asset. And, as you may have noticed, they aren't so easy to replace.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Delayed Not Denied

Hey y'all!!! Not much to say today so I thought I'd share this:

I will be keeping this in mind on my journey towards becoming a family therapist and one day opening a bakery. We can't have it all right now, or next year, or possibly even the year after. BUT we will reach our goals in just the right time if we keep pressing on. 

Be lifted my friends and have a great week!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pumpkin Heaven

Thanksgiving is almost here and I plan to make it one filled with pumpkin goodness. I love pumpkin!! Now I don't plan to serve cookies at thanksgiving dinner but I will be sending these pumpkin sinckerdoodles to my son's daycare for their thanksgiving feast. This cookies has all of my favorites, white chocolate, pumpkin, cinnamon, and sugar in one cookie! Get the recipe here. By the way if you love sinckerdoodles there are tons of other snickerdoodles recipes under the one for the cookies. My belly thanks you Lil Luna-All Things Good!

Delicious White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles on { } #pumpkin #snickerdoodles

Friday, November 15, 2013

Do Not Explain. Do Not Repeat.

How often do we say or do something and then explain it and/or repeat the choice we made multiple times to people? A friend told me a while ago that we should adopt the motto: Do not explain. Do not repeat.

I can't go to work tomorrow.

I am switching my child's school.

I am not going to _____ event.

I let my child _____.

We don't ______.

Do not explain. Do not repeat.

Why? Quite frankly, it's not anyone's business.

People that need to know will know and if someone has to ask, they aren't one of them. I am so tired of explaining myself to people. I got sucked into an hour long conversation with someone just yesterday trying to convince me not do something. I knew the conversation was going nowhere fast but I couldn't get out of it. At the end of the conversation, I was so drained and guess what--I'm still going to what I originally said I would do anyway. So that was a total waste of time and energy.

We are going to leave that practice in 2013.

We don't owe anyone an explanation for anything. There is usually a good reason for whatever we do; thus no need to explain or repeat ourselves. We don't need anyone's approval.

Often times, people don't realize the thought behind the decisions we make or take into consideration that what they may want to know from us is really personal, or the fact that we just flat out don't want to share. I told a funny story to some friends a while ago about a time I had to take off from work when I was pregnant and had stomach cramps. You would think that was enough but probing minds wanted more details. Yes sir, I really want to tell you that those cramps that I thought were my baby coming early were really just constipation.


So I right now, I boldly declare that I will not put myself in a situation like that again. There may be awkward silences or stupefied stares but that is okay. No one has to like or understand what we do. Don't want that job anymore? Don't want to talk to ____? Want to try______? Do you boo boo. No one is going to get everything right all the time why bother explaining? If you don't like it, don't do it yourself but PUH-LEASE don't try to tell me what to do or how to do it. You don't know me or my story so back off.

Thanks in advance. 

Here is my theme song for Do not explain. Do not repeat...I RUN THIS!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Love

Today I am thankful for love. I am thankful for the love of my family. I had an awesome weekend with my in-laws last weekend. I am so grateful that we are loved from so many different angles.
I am thankful for the love of supportive husband that does shy away from dad duty or laundry. You need a true partner when you are going places. I am thankful for my sweet baby love. Only kids can make you want to laugh from pure joy or want to cry (sometimes at the same time). I am grateful for music about love too. This new John Legend CD is giving me life this week. I am thankful for love because it motivates me to keep going when I want to give up. I love love. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Release the Cuffs

So I am still chugging through the book Colliding with Destiny by Sarah Jakes. Last night as I read, she said "don't handcuff someone to your dream." Have you ever had a dream/vision for yourself and your life that included all your family and friends? You know the one where everyone lives close, hangs out regularly, and gets along. I sure have. The problem is though, what if the people/person doesn't want to come along? You may love your fabulous life and can't imagine why someone wouldn't want to be in it but the reality is, we can't take everyone with us.


Not at all.

Even if what we have seems "better off" and we want to help. We can invite them, pay for what they need, and they still may not ever see our vision or live up to our expectations. Sure they will be pawns for a minute. Even pawns in chess can be promoted. But God only gives us our vision for ourselves and our lives. We can't expect others to get it nor can we force them to be in it even if we mean well. I have tried again and again to repair and rejuvenate relationships that I've simply outgrown or that need to exist in their own space and not be tied to me and my dreams.
Now that I have a son, I am even more mindful of my vision and how I navigate my relationships because I know that it will set the stage for him. Letting go and not stepping in when we feel we can help is hard but we have to let God, the ultimate potter, work his magic on other people's clay.

I pray for strength to release others from my dreams when they don't fit.

Nothing that is suppose to be in place has to be forced.

"There comes a time in life when we are ready to go to the next level. We must embrace the reality that everyone cannot go with us." -Sarah Jakes


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Don't Take It Personal

Let me go ahead and say that I take A LOT of things personally. It is so hard not too! I saw a tweet yesterday and it got me thinking about how great it would it be if I did not take things so personally. Now I can do this in some situations and with some people with ease but everyone else---they must be out to get me/hurt me right?? Wrong. 

The word even tells us that it is not man that we struggle with (see Ephesians 6:12). So when a person offends us, overlooks us, or is down right rude, the problem isn't them--it is much bigger. In fact it is so much bigger than them that by taking whatever happened personally, we are taking on a burden that we were not meant to bear.  Typically when I find myself taking something personally, I try not to say anything because I don't want to turn into the offender; but then whatever it was just eats away at me. This will be stopping--uh now.

Check out her blog here:
As I transition on to my next career, I don't want to take anything with me that is not working and taking things personally, professionally and in my personal life, is not working. 

I'm going to give this a shot this week. We cannot be perfect and things will not always be the same so why waste time taking things personally? What someone likes about us today, they won't tomorrow. We may not be recognized for our work now but God is getting the glory. We may be growing and developing ourselves so mistakes we make today won't be made in the future. The list goes on.

What do you think? Is it hard to not take things personal?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Blank Check

Have you ever given yourself a blank check to do whatever you want? I mean given yourself time to spend several hours getting pampered is a spa, or an unrestricted amount of time to read, watch TV, surf Pinterest, etc. I was kind of forced into this situation Saturday morning. My mother in-law goes to this salon where you can get pretty much everything you need done all in one place. The ladies are efficient too. You can be under the hair dryer and be getting a manicure too. Does a place like this exist in Jersey? I need to find it.

Anyhow, Saturday morning was essentially my blank check to get pampered, catch up on blogs I had been wanting to read and to just relax. No to-do list to tackle, no meals to prep, nothing but what I wanted to do. Several hours our pampering and relaxation from head to toe…time well spent indeed. 

I realize however, that I was "forced" into this moment though. When the beautician said "when's the last time you had a deep conditioner/hit oil treatment?" I almost laughed; lady don't you know get in and out is my motto so I don't have time for that. It did make me think though why does this have to be the case? My excuse is the same ol' I have so much to do/my baby needs me excuse. All very true but we need ourselves too. What good are we when we don't give ourselves a moment to do whatever we want?

I'm going to get my New Years Resolution #1 started early: give myself at least one day a month to do whatever I want by myself for 3-4 hours. I work hard so the first person that should reap the benefits of that (after I give my 10% to Jesus of course) is me.

I have to find a place that does it all though...I can't spend my time traveling from place to place hehe.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Reflections: Get Ready

Sunday is always a great day of the week to for me to give thanks, reflect, and get in the right frame of mind for the upcoming week. This week, I realized that I need to set more rigid boundaries between work and home and take just a little more time to take better care of myself. I also recognize the need to hold myself more accountable for completing tasks that I set out to do when I plan to do them at work so I can honor this boundary. I don't need to be unreasonably hard on myself, but I know what works and what could work better so, I need to operate in that space more often. 

We weren't built to struggle and feel overwhelmed week after week. We know in our heart of hearts what works and what doesn't; the challenge is to act accordingly. Because I am on the cusp of a career change, I know some of the chaotic-ness that ensues each week for is a necessary means to a much better end, but I don't have to let it bog me down. 

My challenge to us for this week is to keep our eyes on the big picture even when little things try to knock the picture out of focus. We may have to get up early, stay up later, and work a lot harder now but our journey has a purpose and I know everything will be worth it.

What are some things you need to keep doing this week to set yourself up for success as you press on towards our goals?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Caramel Heaven

I usually try a new dessert every weekend but since I am out of town this weekend,  I'll post what I would have liked to try instead (I do plan to try this in a few weeks for one of my friends upcoming birthdays though). I found this recipe on my favorite spot Pinterest of course. You can get the recipe here. Let me know if you try it before I do!

Happy Saturday!!!

Salted Caramel Cupcakes at

Friday, November 8, 2013

Stinky Stuff

Can I just say that middle school kids stink. Like literally--there is not enough air freshener or plug-ins to get rid of the funk sometimes. It's in the classroom, in the hallways, it's pretty much everywhere. Some days, I wished that I worked in a nice little office or cubicle. They don't seem like they would smell, right?
Random I know.I just love when things smell good---again random but all that funk the other day was so annoying. I couldn't concentrate. I felt like I was running full steam all day but the smells kept cramping my style. I can't work in funk (literal and figurative). I guess that was a typical chaotic day for you. My to-do list didn't get any smaller. I started but didn't finish more things than I would have liked to. So much to do, so little time. I'm sure it wasn't the smell but someone/something must take the blame right? It certainly wasn't me. So many times we let trivial things really derail our plans for a day or a particular time period. I have a nifty planner that has most of my to-do's outlined but at times, I can't keep up with it so I flat out ignore it. There is always an e-mail or text to send, Facebook to check, a blog to read, etc. I think I need to disconnect a little bit. Is that even possible? My short term fix for now is to try to stick to only doing the tasks that I set out to do at a particular time. Boundaries so to speak so I don't let stuff get in the way--I talked about boundaries yesterday. This means that I may have to ignore some folks, respond to an e-mail or text within 24 hours instead of within a minute, and just flat out tell myself no when I start drifting away from the task at hand. Easier said than done. I want to take a nap to avoid all of this already.