By now you’ve probably been to countless cookouts and family gatherings since Memorial Day; but everyone knows that August is not only the hottest month in the summer, it’s also the month where navigating the cookout becomes a skill you need to learn.

Heat, mosquitoes, drunk uncles, bad ass little cousins, a myriad of personal questions and extra burnt hot links become a lot to deal with in 106 degree weather with no place to sit. You gave up your seat to Great Aunt Billy Mae who’s 106 and still talking smack. Luckily I’ve developed a guide to help steer you clear through to a cool shower and a plate of leftovers in your air-conditioned apartment.



1. Don’t make eye contact with the old aunties huddled in the kitchen; quickly give kisses and hugs and get the hell outta there!

2. Do kiss your oldest relative in the wheelchair and one arm hug the cousins; beware cologne.

3. Take a cold beverage to the grill cook from the rear so all the old uncles aren’t watching you walk away.

4. Check with your mom to see exactly how close you and the cute “cousin” are before eye-flirting begins.

5. Notice when big-cousin-can’t-understand-how-we’re-related starts bragging about your car; they are about to ask for something; just say it’s a rental and walk away.

6. NEVER take a swig of the uncles “drank” in the brown paper bag, you’ll die.


7. Remember MUTE RKELLY does not apply to the family cookout; don’t quote me.

8. Expect old neighborhood flings to stop by so make sure you’re dressed the part and have an inspiring story about your unemployment.

9. Don’t get carried away with giving your Lil bad ass cousins the water gun work, you’re an adult.

10. Give up your chair to your elder, you know there’s never enough seats.

11. Ask who made the potato salad.

12. Take deodorant and baby wipes, you’ll need them.

13. Eat before you get to the cookout. They said everyone will start eating when the food is ready around 4 p.m. which actually means 6 p.m.

14. Try to avoid throwing shade to Auntie-always-in-everyone-else-bidness-but-not-her-own-husband’s when she tells you you’re too old to not be married with kids and a house by now.

15. Always follow your favorite cousins to their old school car that has one door that doesn’t work; you’re bound to have a great conversation while getting lit.

16. Pray before you head to the club after the cookout with the cousins, Ray Ray n dem taking you to bullet hole central.

17. If you bring a friend of the opposite sex be prepared to be grilled by family about why you’re not dating or headed toward marriage.

18. If you bring a friend of the same-sex after not dating anyone for years be prepared for the awkward sermon given to “everyone” about what the Bible says while simultaneously fending off cousins who are trying to talk to them.

19. Enjoy beautiful weather with the one family you have this summer cookout and all to come!


Hey Builders! Help me finish this helpful guide by giving me a #20! Tell me about your cookout experiences this Summer ☀️




Giving Support does not equal Getting Support.

This has been a sobering reality as I’ve embarked on the journey to explore my dream, ideas, and goals for the Let’s Build Mentoring Program and my blog.

Where the hell are my day ones on day two?

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Some close friends and family seem like the last ones to get on the train when it comes to supporting your dream. Could it be because they’re unsure of the destination, unclear on the goal or that it just doesn’t seem like something of interest until others hop on?

I’m exploring this question because I found myself feeling a little jaded and unsupported throughout my young entrepreneurial career in which I looked at how I freely give support and encouragement but felt I have not received the same back from those closest to me.

So I lashed out a little in posting…



That was the Krystal from a week ago. (So immature, eye-roll)

I have now come to other revelations that have helped me to understand what may be lying underneath the surface.

Like maybe I’m part of the issue. 

In the words of the great Ms. Badu

“I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t!”

I feel that way in my writing. Vulnerability being the culprit. I have a love/hate relationship with putting my thoughts out there so I hide it from those who would be the most honest with me. Insecurity and fear of judgement also play a part.

I just need to grow a pair in that area.


You’re supportive in nature.

I’ve always found pure joy in rooting for others. Maybe it’s the people pleaser in me or the fact that I can relate to wanting to be understood.

As Oprah says everyone just wants to be heard. Whatever the reason, I find myself hyping up associates, friends, and family alike whenever I’m told about a goal or dream. Hell, even when I see a random selfie.

I am especially more fierce in showing support and love for others on social networks now because I see how hard it is to build up a following around a project.


To me it takes very little time to show your support for someone in the online world. So why is it that so many are having trouble garnering support from those closest to them. The truth is, just like lending money, in offering support you should not expect it back.

But here are some other reasons outside of yourself that could explain the cricket sounds surrounding your dream.



They Don’t understand what the hell you’re doing or how to support it.

I think when we’re passionate about starting a business or venturing off on our own we hit family and friends with the headliners of the grand plan. This can translate to them as a pursuit that is either outrageous or complicated.

Uncle Leon may know how to DM the ladies on Facebook with the one hit pickup line he’s been using since 1974…

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but that doesn’t mean he knows what a blog is. Your grandma may be happy you’re attending college but may not understand you explaining Public relations to her when discussing opening your own PR business. Slow it down, take your time in explaining the basics and discuss small ways they can support your endeavor.

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Your pursuit makes them uneasy.

Seeing you pursue your dreams/passions causes others to look inward at their own life. This can go one of two ways:

It will either inspire them to pursue their own dreams (True story happened to me S/O to some of my Instagram/Facebook followers)


It will insight them to resentment as it is a reminder of you doing something they feel incapable of or afraid to do. For this reason people will only support you for as much as is comfortable for them to. Don’t sweat it. (True story happened to me S/O to some of my Instagram/Facebook followers!)

What can I say?…I’m human.


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Their support got lost in translation.

You may have a specific way that you show your support for others whether it’s likes, verbal encouragement or actually taking the time to read/buy/subscribe etc…

Your family and friends may have their own definitions of supporting your dreams. For example, my guy hates reading (I’ll break up with him soon, I promise); however, his verbal encouragement when I’m down, answering my “research questions” for my blog, and quick glance overs of my writing are all ways he shows his support for what I’m attempting to do.



They have their own shit.

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Expecting your loved ones to shout your business/project/dream from the mountain top to all they know is a little unrealistic. They may have their own shit going on in which it takes up most of their time/attention/money.

They aren’t as passionate about your dream as you are and that’s okay, that dream is yours because YOU are the one who loves it. It is then your duty to build up that dream in a way that it will appeal to even the least supportive in the pack.

They secretly hate you.





The point.

Relax young grasshopper.

It takes time to build support around your dream.

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Honestly, you need that time to perfect and tailor your dream to something that can be useful to all who encounter it anyway. Stop being so hard on yourself and stop being so judgey toward your loved ones.

Trust me, when your idea does takeoff that will be all the (TOLD YOU SO) you need. Some people get lucky and win the lottery big but don’t ignore that scratch off for $10; just go buy you a happy meal and keep grindin’.




Disclaimer: After reading this some friends and family may be tempted to contact LetsBuild via phone or text.

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I had to explore this topic; it called out to me like my name was Carol-Anne.