Well, That Was Fun! – Is Summertime OFFICIALLY Over Already?…

Hey, Y’all! I Love saying that – it makes me sound so southern, in which I truly am! Arkansas born and bred, I Ain’t shame of it…lol.

The State of Arkansas Home of the Razorbacks

Anywho, welllllll…. Has summer come to an end already? In a couple of months, we’re going to be shouting Happy New Year – 2020!! Like Literally, my co-worker tells me all the time that the year’s speediness is my fault because when February came in, I honestly was wishing that the month would go by SUPER fast. I had just found a new dig and I was ready to MOVEEEEEEEE, I talk about that in a series of blog posts – you can catch up here, here and HERE! Just in case you missed it.

However, it seems like ever since I asked God for the time to SPEED by so I can get on with my moving on and upward. I must’ve sparked something in the Universe and BLINK! Here we are in September, going into October NEXT WEEK!!! Oh Gosh, please Universe – make it STOP!

Oh Well, I don’t know if that will happen, but I can say that this summer while it went away quickly. I did get some things accomplished and that’s what I want to talk about.

Before you ask, No – I didn’t travel to any elaborate locations with some girlfriends and chilled. Although, that does sound nice and I would love to do that someday. Once I get enough girlfriends to take that trip that is…lol. I came into this year saying that I wanted to travel to Russia and Africa – well, that never happened and from the looks of things, it won’t at this point. BUTTTTT, while that won’t be happening, I got this sensation in me to start saying YESSSSS to quite a bit of things…I’ll get into that shortly.

In the meantime, I didn’t expect to come into this year with the hope of starting a business. It just happened and when it did, I was ALLLLLL in! I created the Website, The FB Business Page and even the IG page for it, next I began working on content. What was this BUSINESS going to be about, what did I want to talk about? I have to be honest – when I first started the FB page, it was ALL about me and my services and etc., somewhat…. You can say maybe 80% was about me and 20% was about business tips for what I like to call “The Business Parent” and etc. I like doing research – at least on things that I’m really interested in knowing more about and I found out that I was doing it ALL wrong, I should have been talking about other things 80% of the time and only displaying my services 20% of the time.

This is a tip for the new and/or seasoned business parents, especially if you have a business page and/or advertising your brand. Think about you less (20%) and what else you can offer your clients more of (80%). Is there anything they need to know? Because people hate when things are constantly being pushed on them in a “salesy” way…. I’m one of them!

You can thank me later for that…. lol

Soooooooo, outside of starting the bizness – what comes next? Of course, business photos!! I said I wanted to take some, but people were super expensive, and I knew the selfies weren’t going to keep cutting it. Thank God for social media, a friend of mine got some family pics done and the guy that did her family pics had a $20 for 15 min special going on, you already know what I did… Yep!! – I JUMPED ALL ON IT!! I mean, for 20 bucks, I couldn’t pass it up – and here are the results of that…

What you think! I thought he did a fantastic job and I’ve already used them in a couple of mockups to promote my biz – check this out…

Let this be a lesson, you can do ANYTHING with photos, especially when it comes to creating content for your business. Okay, soooo another venture I tried over the summer – well, sort after the summer. Is going REDDDDDD…. I always wanted to be a redhead, so much so until when my beautician years ago would perm my hair, I always asked for a red rinse to be put in. I loved it so much until I got the idea to just turn my WHOLE head red, can someone say..

It truly was, I should have let a professional do it. As a matter of fact, here’s another lesson. If your hair is “weak” and/or “thin” please don’t put color on top of it. The color is already strong and even stronger depending on the color you get. It’s a chemical that will strip your hair as it is and if your hair is already “On the Weak Side of the Road” – You ain’t gonna have no HAIR!

I don’t have a picture for it now but Day 1 my hair was good, by Day 5 my hair was GONE!

All my precious hair (what I did have) shed away, I finally had to get it all cut off. I vowed that I would NEVER use color again on my hair (because I loved color and loved trying different shades) The women on those color care boxes are not created equal and its no telling WHO, WHAT or HOW long it took them to get their hair to the desired color they wanted. Plus, I’m sure they had a professional stylist…

So, if I can’t color my hair – Why not get some hair with the color in it and VIOLA! Here are the results…

To say I love this, would definitely be an understatement but I LOVE IT!!! Do You Like It??

On top of that, I got some new glasses (A Pair by Karl Lagerfeld (left) & One by a brand entitled Colours (right) I had a dark blue pair by Colours, I love their glasses, their unique and they tend to fit my personality, wish they had a white pair. Love these babies!

Well, outside of celebrating my daughters 15th birthday (Man time is flying) She’ll be out of school in TWO YEARS!! And she’s already talking about driving and getting a license and working and starting a baby and dog care business, in which I created a flyer and she’s been passing out all over our neighborhood and everywhere she goes outside of bugging me about taking her to swap shops to see if she could sell some clothing items, books, and other things. SMH, she’s a littlepreneur in the making – see below.

First comes driving and the next thing you know, we’ll be talking about a CAR! Can she go back to being a kindergartner? Geeshhhhhh!! But she’s my baby girl and I Love Her!!

Well, that was my summer and it was other stuff in between, like not having air conditioning for a FULL MONTH! But that’s another story for another time. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to saying YES!!! Not to the Dress, at least not now – I’m praying though…. that’ll definitely be a BIG Blog Post to share!

Buttttt, I’m saying YES! before 2020 rolls in like “Gone With The Wind” to outings and doing more things. I realized outside of being in the house over the summer and taking care of bills, kids and starting up a smallbiz. I really don’t get out much…, like not ever – now that I think about it.

So, instead of starting off the year with a new year’s resolution of saying YES (Anyone see the movie “Yes, Man” by Jim Carrey? Now, I’m not nieve’ and realize that the events that happened to him in the movie, don’t quite happen in real life. I mean – that’s why they call it Hollywood, people. However, this journey is just to get out of my comfort zone a little and meet and/or do things, OUTSIDE of the house. It’s me not thinking about doing it but actually putting the thought to action! So, I thought I’d start the month of October doing so and when I do, I’m going to BLOG about it. Hey, I gotta keep myself accountable! Will you go on the Journey of YES with me?

Well, Folks that it! That was my summer in a nutshell – Now onto Fall and Pumpkins and Spice and Everything Nice and to me saying…

Movie: Jim Carrey – Yes, Man (2008)

Happy Fall! See Ya Soon!

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.

Image Credit: Pexels

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.

Image Credit: Pexels

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).

Image Credit: Pexels

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…

Image Credit: Pexels
  • 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.

Image Credit: Pexels

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.

10 Black Movie Classics You Must See or Re-watch for Black History Month

Black-History-Month-gen

Black History Month is here and while the month is short and will be over before you know it, it’s a month where African-Americans of times past and present are honored for their sacrifices, achievements and accomplishments marked throughout history. It’s a time for us to reflect on that rich history and celebrate the lives of the ones lost and present whom paved the way for generations of other African Americans to walk in freedom and while this movement is still a “work in progress” for the most part, we’re proud that they stood fearlessly in the face of adversity to make sure we have some of the luxuries we have today such as the right to vote.

One way to honor and look back on African-American culture, history, activists and the actors that played them or played parts representing such troubling times is by way of a movie. I personally love watching movies, especially the ones that portray the African-American men and women whom did so much for us. So, if you just happen to have a down day this month and want to celebrate the occasion, listed below are 10 Classic movies portrayed by African-Americans that you should watch in honor of Black History Month. In no particular order they are:

‘Purple Rain’

pURPLE RAIN

What better way to celebrate black history and the life of late-great music legend Prince. The musical drama features some of Prince’s most iconic songs and killer outfits.

‘Malcolm X’

Malcolm X

‘Malcolm X’ is was Spike Lee classic, portrayed by Denzel Washington. The movie chronicled the life of the civil rights hero.

‘Selma’

selma-movie-poster

Ava DuVernay made history with ‘Selma’ in 2014, becoming the first black woman to have her film nominated for “Best Picture” at the Oscars. ‘Selma’ is a portrait piece of Dr. Martin Luther King as he led the march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights.

‘Glory’

Glory

Free black men were conscripted to fight in the Union Army during the Civil War, but as this 1989 period drama shows, not even their willingness to sacrifice their lives for their country was enough to shield them from racism and segregation. Denzel Washington stars in the role that would nab him his first Oscar.

‘Barry’

Barry

‘Barry’ is one of two drama films (of what will surely be many) that take a glimpse at the life of a younger former President Barack Obama, the man who would one day become the first black president of the United States.

‘The Princess & the Frog’

Princess and Frog

In 2009, Disney made history by featuring its first ever African-American princess. Anika Noni-Rose portrayed princess Tiana in this film. It’s a beautiful film in which is sure to inspire little girls of all diverse backgrounds that she too can be “A Princess”

‘The Color Purple’

Color Purple

Okay, so there’s really nothing to say about this one but – CLASSIC!!! – No matter how many times I’ve seen this movie – I always need my tissues….

‘The Wiz’

The Wiz

‘The Wiz’ in which stars Diana Ross and a very young Michael Jackson is the black version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ story.

‘Carmen Jones’

Carmen Jones

Dorothy Dandridge became the first black woman to be nominated for a Best Actress award at the 1954 Oscars for her role in this epic musical, based on Bizet’s tragic opera ‘Carmen.’

‘A Raisin in the Sun’

Raisin in Sun

Starring Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier, this 1961 adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry‘s play is a film about an African-American family search for the American Dream and what happens when that dream is derailed. While the older version is a true classic, the newer 2008 version in which stars Sean Combs (a.k.a P. Diddy), Sanaa Lathan, Audra McDonald & Phylicia Rashad are performances in which you wouldn’t want to miss.

These movies are sure to give you a dose of the richness of the African-American culture and a sense of why we should celebrate this month each year. We’re not just celebrating the culture but we’re acknowledging the people whom broke barriers in every arena which makes us glad to be a part of such an amazing history. You can find other classics listed here. Did your favorite make the list? If not, then what African American movie(s) are your favorite classics? Let me know in the comments.

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager