It’s Your Business. So Set The Tone!

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So you want to be a boss, already a boss or thinking about becoming your own boss – No matter where you are in this process, let me be the first to say “CONGRATULATIONS!!” and now my little celebratory business dance…

Okay, just wanted to celebrate you a little bit because whether you’ve been a boss or thinking about stepping out on faith to become one – it’s a celebrated moment. You should give yourself a BIG pat on the back for making what some call THE BIG LEAP!!

However, while becoming your own boss is exhilarating – it can also be very scary and you’ll doubt yourself many times during and going through the process “Can I really do this?” “Why am I doing this?” or “Do I really have the skills to do it!” and I will say “YES! YOU DO!!” otherwise why would the thought even come to your mind..

These were all thoughts I had when I ventured out into blogging and now/recently into my own writing and creative design publication business, happily entitled “RoshondaBCreative” – I create flyers, social handles, brochures, newsletters, resumes and so forth for others. I even can write up blog posts, content and copy-write as well. As a matter of fact, just last week I received my very first customer whom wanted me to create a flyer, she loved it! and for the first time in history outside of doing everything for “free” (more on that in a jiffy). I got my very first payment!!!! I was elated, excited and it gave me that extra push to confirm, I was in my right lane.


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But before that happened, I had to get my business etiquette together. After-all, I had never ran a business before and had no idea as to what it really detailed. The only thing I knew is that I had to be professional because “first” impressions are lasting impressions and I’m a firm believer in “How you start” will definitely set the tone for how everything else in your business will run. Over the years, I’ve worked alongside some good and not so good business owners. Even if the business owner was not that great, there are still lessons that I took from them because in business everything won’t be rosy, there will be shortcomings and mistakes made but it’s how you handle those grey areas that will determine it’s success whether your business is BIG or small.

Listed below are a couple of “Tone Setters” I believe every business should have:

1st Tone: Get Your Paperwork Together


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When I first learned that I wanted to turn my passion into a business, the first thing I did was get my paperwork together. What I mean by this is – I looked for contract templates, proposal templates and business card designs. I even took a free business class to find out what my business would be registered as, either an LLC or if I’d be considered a Sole Proprietor. If you’re just starting out I would suggest going ahead and getting your name registered at least as the cost is minimal. Once your business takes off, then I would go deeper into getting it trademarked and so forth. While you’re in the process, don’t forget to come up with a BOMB slogan! Something that identifies your business characteristic.

However; the main thing is making sure you have your contract, prices, proposals and business cards ready because when you announce “Open for Business?” you may not have time to get those things prepared because no one likes a messy business man or woman.

2nd Tone: Communicate Properly


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Oh gosh! I’ve seen some really messy communicators in business. If you say you’ll get back to someone in 24 hours, please make sure you do that. If you tell someone you’ll have their product ready in a week, please make sure you hit the deadline on the head or before. If someone sends you a message, please answer them and if you don’t answer within a specified period of time, just say “I apologize for the delay in getting back to you” first before you go into what their need may be.

Having good communication skills in business is a TOP priority and very essential to your business. Good communication can build your business, Bad communication can and will tear it apart before it gets off the ground good. Remember: Words travel faster than lighting!!

3rd Tone: No Freebies!

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You’re going to always have that person that wants you to do something for free! However, you have to set the tone and let them know that you’re running a business and this time, you need to get paid. I remember accepting a job from a person that I knew very well. They needed me to update a resume they’d gotten from someone whom they stated “Didn’t do a good job” – they asked how much I would charge because they were going out for a job and desperately needed it the following day. I told them $5.00 and that evening I put everything aside just to get their work done. I sent it promptly the next day as suggested and after that…..silence….

I get an email about a week later telling me they ended up not using the resume and therefore because they didn’t use it, they figured they didn’t have to pay me my $5.00! Now don’t get me wrong, I know you might say that’s nothing but my TIME was everything! It was then that I decided to put a stipulation on payments. Anything $50.00 or less, I need the full payment unless we discussed you giving half down first. Value your time and your business enough to get your money upfront because your business doesn’t run off of “non-payments”

4th Tone: Don’t Be Afraid to Say No or Be Intimidated to Sell Yourself Short

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When you first start out in business you may want to say YES to everyone and while that’s great in a rainbow world, you’re going to have to exercise your right and say NO! Only you know how much time and effort it’ll take you to complete a project. Think about that when you take on jobs, don’t allow someone to come into your business space and tell you what they want and what they need you to do. You’re the BOSS, you set the rules and tell them what YOU need them to do in order to complete their work.

Most times when this happens we feel as if we’re going to lose clients based off of our demands for our time and craft but that’s not the case. Don’t succumb to selling yourself or your product short, I mean you have to make a living as well…..what you start out doing for that one client will set the tone for what you do with other clients. If one client feels as though they can get over, guess what! That spirit will soon surround your business and the next thing you know, you’ll have other clients coming along wanting a handout or for you to sell yourself short & your response to that should always render a BIG NOOO!!

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These are just a couple of experiences I’ve experienced with “finally” starting my own business. Your business is like a newborn child in which you want to protect, nourish and watch it grow and grow and grow. Remember to stick to your guns and set the right tone because your business is depending upon you to shape and feed it. How you start is definitely how you’ll finish…

Do you have any business tips or stories? Share them below in the comments!

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Spring Break Staycation Ideas for the Family & Kiddo’s

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Spring has sprung and it seems like the weather is sort of cooperating – sort of. And while the weather is figuring out what it really wants to do, there is one thing that is happening right now, regardless of whether mother nature decides to cooperate or not and that’s SPRING BREAK!!!!! That means yes, if you have children small or tall, young or older – it’s Easter week in which means, kids will be getting out of school and hanging around the house for a week….OH BOY!!

That means my fridge will be confiscated the entire week and while it has food in it right now by the end of spring break it’s going to look like someone held it up in a robbery (no pun intended), the fridge is not the only thing that will be robbed, your sanity will too by the end of the week…hehehe…it’s so true!

It’s hard to try and find something for the kids to do for a full week, especially if you’re working while they’re at home (that’s if you have teenagers that is) and even at that, it can get pretty costly leaving kids at a camp or etc for a week, most camps are costing nearly $160.00 (Yes, for a week only!!) I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that type of money to give….instead, you can take that money and plan some trips outdoors or inside.


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So, let me give you a couple of tips that will help get the kids out of the house. At least for a little while, for the fridge’s sake!

When was the Last Time You Went for a SWING!

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter (an aspiring photo journalist) wanted to get out of the house and go take pictures. While I didn’t want to do it, because I was comfortable in my bed. I got up and went to take her and my son out and boy was I glad I did. We went to a trail and walked around, ran a little and talked. After that we went to a local park where they had a playground and I have to say, I had SOOO much fun. We swung, went down the slide, they even had a merry-go-round and a hang glider! in which I fell off of…lol. Pictures I wish my daughter hadn’t taken, but we had fun and guess what – it didn’t cost a thing!! The only out of pocket money I spent was getting them something off the dollar menu at the Burger King. So, this spring break? Get out and go for a swing, my kids are teens and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves, I’m actually thinking about doing it again.

Picnic in the Park

Now for the working parents, such as myself. I know this may be a bit hard to do because all bosses are not created equal. However, if you have a boss that let’s you off work early, use that time to have a picnic at the park with the kids. They’ll be excited and surprised that you took off to spend a day with them, if the weather is not so great. Then you can always go to a nice restaurant and maybe catch a matinee’ – see how that week camp money can be used??


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Puppet Shows are NOT just for small kids

When I was about 8 yrs old, my mom made me a puppet out of a paper sack. She brought him alive by her imagination and quirky voice sounds and I loved it. I forgot what I named it, but I remember it. That’s what Spring Break is all about, memories! My mom didn’t have a lot of money and she had 3 small girls that she took care of, I remember when we couldn’t go outside, she would always come up with things for us to do inside the house. We played water guns, hide and seek and she even made an obstacle course one time for us to do. I just remember it being so fun until I didn’t realize the weather outside was bad, I just remember how the weather on the inside felt – SUNNY!

So get those creative juices going!! You can do it!

What’s Downtown?

Every city and county has a downtown. To me, downtown is where the REAL history is. I love visiting art galleries and old unique shops. There’s usually plenty of things downtown that either yourself or the kids can do! My favorite place in downtown New Bern, NC is the Cow Cafe and the Bear City Fudge Company. You can get some good ice cream and some good chocolate as well as old fashioned candy. I also love the Bakers Kitchen, it’s an Amish restaurant that serves up the best food I’ve ever tasted, hands down!! There’s a waterfront and museums. You see?, there’s a lot going on downtown that I’m sure you, the kids or the family can enjoy! Have you checked out your downtown lately?

Board Games, Scavenger Hunts & Food

Yes, I’m a foodie so I had to put food in the title – those close to me already know..lol. Who doesn’t love a good board game such as Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Jenga, Uno! If you’re a parent who doesn’t or can’t get off work, the day is still young and these are things you can do while the kids are out as a family. You can also scavenger hunt, pick out about 10 unique things, write them down and hang them up for everyone to see and let the games begin. You can offer a prize for the one that got the most things – you can also use this time to cook up something good together or just order a pizza. Whatever you do, it’ll be memorable and fun.

Well, that’s it! I hope you have a wonderful spring break and a very happy Easter! Have fun, make memories and let’s remember the real reason for celebrating this week and that’s Jesus Christ!

Next week, I’ll have tips for the parents on how to stay sane during Spring Break. Hey, we need some alone time and a break too! =)


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Spring has Sprung & So Has Your Footwear!

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It’s been said that “Diamonds are a Girls best Friend” and while that statement may be true for some women and although “the diamond” just happens to be my birthstone. My diamonds were these best friends below…

Oh my gosh, you couldn’t get me NOT to wear a pair of 4, 5 or even 6 inch heels every day to work. I wore them so much, they actually became my staple. People knew me from the many different styles of heels I wore (Thanks JustFab!! – no this is not a sponsored post) but they too had become my best friend. I bought shoes so much until I literally had them take 39.00 out of my debit card just for shoes. Yes, too say I was addicted would be an understatement. I was so addicted I had well over 70 pairs of shoes – Yes, ALL HEELS #mydiamonds

People often wondered how I was able to walk in those pointy killers every…single…day and I would just say, Oh it’s easy….HA! It sure was, what they didn’t know and I shared this with a best friend one time is that those shoes were easy because they were on platforms, which brought a little comfort to my heel and forefront. Also what they didn’t know was that most of those heels were harsh on my feet and toes, however; I’d endure the pain because I didn’t want anyone to see me without them on….after all, I had made a reputation for myself and sometimes, reputations are hard to break….OUCH!

Well, the ending of the story above is that when I moved to another job. I had high hopes of continuing to wear my glorious heels but this job was different and caused me to walk up hills and sometimes very long distances, I did that twice in a couple of 5 inchers and tore them slam up. It wasn’t long after that I had to move to an new group of shoes that I thought I’d die if I was ever caught in….If you guessed “flats” you’re so right!

After years of being on my job I’m actually thankful about both transitions, the job and the heels. Now I can’t even bare to stand up in a pair of heels without screaming….they hurt my feet soooo bad. I did take the picture below, and while my feet looked as if they were being premiered for the red carpet – my top half (in which the picture doesn’t show) was holding on to my shower curtain with dear LIFE!! and praying it wouldn’t fail me….ha-ha, if you could’ve seen the look on my face, it definitely didn’t match the bottom….lol

My attempt to wear heels again, EPIC FAIL!

So, here’s my question to you. “Is it time for you to change up your shoes? Now that spring is officially here (although the weather seems to be playing peek-a-boo with those details) it’s the time of year where the weather is warmer and you know what that means, it’s time to get out the house and enjoy the weather, by either exercising and/or just enjoying a day out with family or friends. And our feet and the shoes we choose will play a BIG role in both of those activities.

Too tight shoes can cause issues with not only your feet but your posture as well. I have lower back pain today due to wearing high heels for prolonged periods of times. High heels place your feet in a very high and uncomfortable position, it stretches your arch completely out of shape.

Your feet can tell you a lot about your health and most often will show signs of concern before your other body parts get the message.

If you love high heels like I once did, it’s best to take a break from them and/or carry a flat pair of shoes with you so if your feet get tired or achy, you can switch into something a little more comfortable.

It’s also very important that you have the correct exercise shoes as well. I have to be honest, when it came to working out; I thought all tennis shoes were created equal. I didn’t think it mattered what you wore as long as it wasn’t heels during a workout (sorry, everyone can’t be like Mariah Carey), but boy was I wrong! I remember taking a Jazzercise class some years ago and always wondered why I felt fatigued during the workout. I didn’t think anything of it, just chalked it up to being out of shape. However I learned that yes, I was out of shape BUT I needed workout shoes. Ms. Roxanne, which was the lady that ran the class, began telling us about these special shoes that would help us in workout. The shoes didn’t look like much of nothing, but she promised they would not only support our feet but we’d feel better during workout…


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Sixty-dollars later (in which I thought was a lot of money for a pair of ugly shoes) I was hooked! Those shoes were on point, not only did I feel better but I felt as if they helped me move better as well, they were good for my back and overall I felt really good. It was then that I realized that exercise shoes were not created equal and it’s not just hype. You really do need special shoes to exercise, for your feet’s sake and your health too!!

So to sum up this post – spring is here and that means it’s time to clean up the old and bring in the new, including a good pair of shoes. Your feet are very important, you need them and they need you to take care of them so they can take care of you.

While we’re now springing forward, make sure taking care of your most prized possession is able to move along with you.

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For more information on foot care and what proper shoes to get for exercising, check out these links below:

WHAT CAN YOUR FEET TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR HEALTH

8 tips for buying shoes that are good to your feet

Are Your Shoes Killing You?

The best workout shoes for women, according to fitness experts

10 Best Workout Shoes for Men 2019

It’s Moving Season! Are you Ready?

Yes, Yes, Yes – As the season’s are changing, so is life. Now that we’re into the month of March, this is the time of year where weddings are being planned and some lucky bride or bridezilla is looking forward to going down the aisle to her prince charming. But you know what else this is the season of? ….. the BIG MOVE!

Yessss, this is the time of year where rental contracts are up and people are either looking for new digs or contemplating on if they should continue staying where they are. Let me just say, that that’s what I just did, I did the BIG MOVE and let me tell you – you learn something different and new each time. Will this be my last move? According to my aching body, YESSSSSS it will be – but in 2, 3 or 5 years tops. That statement may change, yet again!…LOL

So what did I learn during this move? Chile, A WHOLE LOTTA STUFF

Moving just happens to be one of the toughest and hardest things you’ll do – it’s not only rough on your body (especially if you were sick with the flu the week before the move, like I was – this move liked to killed a sista…lol and I’m still recovering!) but it’s also rough on you mentally as well. Of course with anything you have to have a PLAN and moving is no different. As someone once told me, you have to…

So, if you are or do plan to take that step out of the old and into something new….you’ll have a couple of tips that hopefully could help you “plan” well along the way.

Tip #1 – Room to Room

I’m the type of person that can’t just clean one room – I have to clean multiple rooms at one time. My cleaning starts in the kitchen and then before I can get the kitchen done, I move to the living room and before that’s completed I’m in the bathroom. It’s a little insane but honestly it’s how I work. I figure if I touch everything – then I’m getting more done, which is totally wrong but I do it anyway. However, when you’ve decided that it’s time to move, my suggestion is to take one room at a time and get rid of things you don’t want NOW as well as things you might want to sell (I’ll get to that in a jiffy).

Doing these things now and hopefully you’ve given your landlord a proper 30 day notice. Will help you when move day officially comes, because who wants to take junk into a new place? I don’t and trust me, you don’t either. So now’s the time to decide what stays and what goes.

Jiffy moment here >> Do you know that I had papers (boxes of it) things such as old rental receipts from other places I stayed, old check stubs from years ago, cards from when I graduated high school (let’s not talk about how long ago that was), old letters from a best friend of mine (they were 20 years old!) I even found a love letter I had written to a guy I had a crush on when I was in my last year of high school/first year of college (that I was too nervous to give to him) – So what am I saying? I was carrying ALLLLL this stuff around from place to place for years!!! We never know what we have, go through everything and trash it or dispose of it safely (shred it!) It’s amazing the things we keep hauling around that’s not necessarily pertinent to us now. SO PLEASE, LET IT GO!

Tip#2 – Sell Those Items!

So you know those clothes that you’ve been vowing to get into or that treadmill that’s become your clothes hanger instead of a walking machine? Yeah, sell those items. I’m sure you’ve seen your new place and if it can fit the treadmill, great! but what if it can’t and no sense in taking it over if it’s still going to serve the same duties it’s doing now. SELL IT! that’s exactly what I did.

When it comes to moving I realized that people don’t have traditional yard sales anymore, I mean some people do but now that social media is a gem. Guess what, that’s where the sales are happening! In my county alone there are about 6 different ones and I joined all 6. Let me tell ya, my stuff went like hot cakes – I had so many people inquiring about things until, I was saying things were sold when they really weren’t…..It was crazy but it helped me get rid of a wide variety of things that I either wasn’t currently using or the new place was providing, such as a new washer and dryer. Can I get a WHOOT-WHOOT!!

So check out FB and see if there are online yard sales in your area and say bye bye to the old and yes to getting money for something totally new!

Tip# 3 – Be Safe

While it was exhilarating to sell off my items, I also had to be careful as everyone “online” is not who they say they are. So whether you decide to sell online or some other way, be safe in doing it. People are scared of you just as you are of them…

a) If what you’re selling is something big that cannot fit into your car. Don’t give out your address until you know for sure it’s a sale. I had many people to ask for my address but didn’t actually want to buy the items. It’s okay to let them know the county you’re in but not your address. b) If possible, have someone at the house with you – don’t be alone during an in house transaction. c) Ask that they have correct change before arrival as you don’t carry extra money.

*Bonus Tip* – Try to plan what you’re going to do by a week to week basis. Write it down and stick to it. When you’re in the process of moving, there are many things you can do to get prepped for the big MOVE and if your place looked anything like mine? Trust me, you need to make sure a plan is in place and you’re consistently working on it daily. This will ensure that come Move Day, you’ll be prepared and equipped to only take the items you’re truly going to use and it helps with clearing up your place as well.

Well, these are just a few tips to get started – I have more. Next week I’ll be discussing things you can do to get prepared to prep your rental so you can get that deposit back!

STAY TUNED!!

Valentines on A Budget – 5 Tips to Save You Money!

Valentines is officially HERE! and while today may be the BIG V-Day, most people may opt to do something small today, with a bigger celebration more than likely starting tomorrow night and on through the weekend, right??

Valentine’s is the next most popular-est holiday, outside of Christmas. As soon as Christmas is over you can almost guarantee the week or two after, stores will begin to fill up with red, pink and white balloons, bears, candies and roses galore…I mean, that’s just how it rolls.

In Honor of Black History Month >> Check This Out >> My History, Your History, Black History Facts You Might Didn’t’ Know About.

However, while Valentines is a day that everyone (well not everyone, but you get it) uses to express their undying love and affection for a significant other – it can also be extremely COSTLY! Yes, LOVE really does cost a thing, especially on V-Day.

And that alone can be a little disheartening as everyone may not have the Benjamin’s to splurge on LOVE. Therefore, I’m going to give you 5 tips of how you can keep the cost down on the world’s most LOVE filled day.

Scavenger Hunt

Valentines Day is the perfect day to tell your significant other how much you love them and while words are great – ACTIONS are better. Get some nice paper, preferably construction paper. Fold it in half and cut along the fold line to make hearts, make sure you use different colors – it just makes the activity more fun and expressive.

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Write nice things you love about your sweetie on each one and put them all over your living space (preferably in places you know they always go). You might want to let them know you’re doing this and tell them you’ve placed little love notes throughout the space and send them on a little hunt to find it. Or, it can be a complete surprise. You can do it while they’re sleeping, to up the ante – you can tape little pieces of chocolate on, to make the surprise even sweeter.

Handwritten Letters

I know this is a bit old-fashioned, especially with the boat loads of technology we have today. Taking out time to sit down and actually write a letter shows that you not only care but it’s the sincerest affection to give. You can write a love note to anyone; your kids, your spouse, a good friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or just to let someone know how much you appreciate them. The fact that you took out time to do it, will be the greatest gift of love and adoration shown.

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Plan a Date night in Your Kitchen or Dining Room

Now, I know some people may already sit down to have dinner together, but V-Day is an extra special day that causes for an extra va-voom to your dinner/meal conversation. Use your phone to create a V-Day playlist to serve as your background music. Light a couple of candles or string a couple of lights around your chandelier or alongside your wall (get those creative juices going).

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During your meal, don’t talk about work or any outside disturbances. Use this time to talk about each other. What made you fall in love and etc. And if you’re flying solo, no worries plan a night with the kids (no phones, no talk about work) use that time to tell them something special about themselves and etc. Just keep the talk about LOVE. If you don’t have kids, then invite some friends over and chat it up.

You also don’t have to buy any expensive dinners, cook whatever you got in the fridge or cabinets because this moment isn’t about the food but being amongst those you LOVE.

Movies Anyone? – Favorite V-Day Classics

If you’re an avid follower, then you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE movies. What better way to settle in on V-Day or whenever you decide to celebrate it than with a good ole love classic and some popcorn. Listed below are a couple of my faves in no particular order…

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  • Valentine’s Day (2010)Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx
  • Serendipity (2001)John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale
  • Pretty Woman (1990)Julia Roberts, Richard Gere
  • Love and Basketball (2000) Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps
  • The Notebook (2004)Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling
  • Titanic (1997) Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet
  • An Officer & A Gentleman (1982)Richard Gere, Debra Winger
  • 50 First Dates (2004) – Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

Spa Day – INSIDE

As a people I honestly don’t think we do enough self-care routines (I’m totally preaching to the choir on this one (AMEN!). So why not create your own spa day inside. Light some candles, turn on some soft music and create a bubble bath for one or two (wink..) You don’t even have to have those high-priced soaps that do all the special things – if you got some body wash that’ll do just fine for creating the bubble effect. Get you a glass of wine (sparkling or other) and just RELAX! And follow-up with a good skin care regimen.

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I know Valentine’s day may not be a big deal to some people’s world and that’s okay as it doesn’t take a holiday to show LOVE. However you choose to spend V-day, just make sure you’re showing yourself some love and/or spending time with the people you do. Time is precious and LOVE, whether a holiday or not is worth giving.

Glazed Cherry Bread
Looking for something delicious and different to whip up for V-Day? You’ll love this cherry bread recipe made with delicious maraschino cherries. To get the full recipe and view the video of how it’s made visit Tastes of Lizzy T.