Sometimes it’s just really good to feel yourself *cues Beyonce.*



I never thought I was photogenic. Largely, the idea of me being beautiful was a one-sided opinion made by yours truly. Then slowly, how I saw myself changed more and more for the worse; that is until I began taking photos of myself a few months ago.

In the Beginning

In the beginning there was a skinny, wide-eyed, gap toothed girl with a creative mind.

I always thought I was beautiful. Mind, body, and spirit. It could partly be because my family hyped me up, showering me with random comments about the big browness of my eyes or length of my legs but I always felt it deep down. Even in the rough stages of bullying throughout school I just figured others couldn’t see what beauty I saw in myself. Then slowly the doubt started to creep in, unexpectedly it said “if a tree falls in the forest with no one around to hear it does it make a sound?”

It snuck in when a boyfriend told me I should gain more weight

It seeped into my thoughts when I questioned why another cheated

It stole away my confidence with every situationship

It was a slow drip whenever I was either overlooked or oversexualized because still no one was seeing me the way I saw me

But ultimately what opened the doors wide for doubt was another breakup that felt like yet another rejection of who I am

Maybe if I were prettier…or shorter…or lighter

Maybe if I were different in some way


The maybes were killing my thin threads of confidence and the way I saw myself began to suffer because…

If I felt beautiful but no one else said so was I really Beautiful?

The answer: Bitch, Hell tf yes!!!


Validation doesn’t equal existence

I just needed to hear the truth underneath all the background noise

Why Photos

I’ve had a man tell me I needed braces after rejecting his sexual advances of “you just look like you suck good ****” (I wasn’t as hood back then so he got away with his life) unfortunately, my confidence wasn’t so lucky. I became self conscious and stop smiling in pictures. My imperfect teeth are one of my biggest sources of bruised self esteem. One I’m still struggling to accept and correct.

We often brush words under a rug and try to sweep off the sting by seeming overly confident without ever dealing with the hurt. Years and years of comments like these, emotional abuse, and societal standards of beauty were finally catching up to me in present day. If I was to really love myself I needed to start with accepting my imperfections, beginning with those I could see. My insides were already pretty amazing…



Interpretations of a Beautiful Picture

Pictures taken by other photographers were great examples of being interpreted through the lens of someone else. Isn’t that basically what life is? Often pictures were a source of discomfort for me because I didn’t trust others to see me how I saw myself; I mean they never had before right?…So I never fully relaxed during photo sessions.

Once I began photographing myself I saw that I was more relaxed, powerful even. I was in control. I moved the way I naturally felt inclined to. I wore what made me feel sexiest, or free. I choose makeup or none but the result is always the same. I love how carefree and beautiful my images make me feel because in those moments it’s a true representation of what I’m experiencing. Some I share, most I don’t because I care less about the likes; what’s important is the feeling my image conveys when I look at it: FREEDOM. PEACE. SENSUALITY. GROWTH.


Remember who you are

Taking photos of yourself is not about being conceited or over self indulgent. It is a Mood. The moments I’m photographing I’m at peace in my body and mind. I am in that moment appreciating my life and myself, giving God thanks. That is why they come out great. Plus I always have a dope mix playing for the vibe.

During my little sessions: it’s like in mufusa’s voice I can hear my queen ancestors telling me to “REMEMBER…”

Remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Remember it is more than just skin and flesh

Remember who tf you are




Perfect Image

My photos are just me; I interpret who I am and want to be without the help of a single soul. I define myself in my photos with what I wear, how I chose to pose, what shade of lipstick fits my mood. Each time I successfully convey my sensuality, strength, humor, and beauty. I am the master of my image. Allowing no one to project opinions of how I should, could, or would onto who I AM.

The beauty I’ve found and have always had is more that just my chocolate skin deep. It is me. It is stepping fully into myself and appreciating every aspect of who I am; from how I look to how I think. This time, it’s not fragile in a way that can be rocked by the words or actions of others. My confidence is real, my image is my own.

I’m not telling you to rush out and buy a camera or bright backdrop; I’m telling you not to be afraid to look at yourself. The curve of your lips to the shape of your toes. Take control of your image. Fall in love with it. Fall in love with yourself. And let no one project another picture onto you. You are already beautiful. You are already enough.

100 percent.

Everyone wants 100 percent of you.

Your job demands 100 percent, your bae, your kids, your friend that keeps calling and crying about the same guy she said she was gonna leave three calls ago.

They want your undivided attention, your time, your unconditional love. And you oblige. You slice yourself up like a pie and divide yourself into equal portions until there’s nothing left.

pie 1pie 1

Now you’re hungry. 

Now you’re drained and burnt out left wondering whose gonna help replenish you.

You take days off in the name of self-care but still end the day restless, anxious and unfulfilled. But here’s a secret I’ll let you in on…

Self-care is more than bubble baths and mimosas. Self-care is an attitude. It’s knowing that giving 100 percent to everyone and thing else, 24/7, 365 is not only impossible but a destructive goal. It’s having the courage to tell your boss no to coming in for overtime because you know your personal time is more important. It’s setting boundaries even with the people you love. Self-care is what you tell yourself when no one’s listening; the words that you use to mentally talk to yourself. It’s the ultimate relationship you have with who should be the most important person in your life…YOU.


True Love

It’s what you value and celebrate about yourself even when no one around you does. Self-care is self-love. How you care for yourself is a direct reflection of what you think you deserve. It is a parallel between how you allow others to treat you. At this point in my life, I treat myself well enough to accept nothing less than adoration from others hoping to engage with me on a personal level.



Self Awareness

Self-care is self-review in caring enough about who you are to fix the flaws that promote your self-hate. Doing what you need in the emotional and mental areas to feel your best. To BE your best.

Self-care is about surrounding yourself with people who share your values, celebrate your wins and encourage you in your losses. It’s allowing only those in your space whose intentions align with yours and knowing when to let go when they don’t.


The Little Moments

Self-care is the pep talk you give yourself before entering work. It’s the time you give yourself to cry when you’re feeling overwhelmed as a single mother. It’s the moments that you decide not to delay your gratification this time to buy the purse you’ve been eyeing. 

It’s choosing yourself every day, 24/7, 365.

Giving 100 percent of your love, time and attention to yourself too.

As we embark on this self-care week let us understand that it’s more than an Instagram post; Self-care is a way of life, a constant goal to strive for.

Hey Builders! Tell me how you self care, like, share and Let’s Build up Ourselves.




I know Beyonce would have me make lemonade but honey, right now I can’t even find the pitcher. The thought of making lemonade from the lemons life gives you is a lovely one but we often forget that it’s an actual process. The message is always the same; turn struggle into triumph, turn pain into healing, turn bitterness into forgiveness. Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it’s certainly not that easy.

As someone perpetually hell bent on sending light and love out into the atmosphere, I’ve found myself struggling against all of my instincts not to become bitter. The way I came about my lemons allowed me to understand why the stereotype of the angry, bitter black woman exists; where there’s a stereotype there’s usually a truth that feeds it. That truth being that the taste of these lemons has left a bitterness in my mouth and I ran out of sugar about three pitchers ago.

There’s not many places around allowing me to borrow sugar.

So here’s the question…What do you do when the bitterness of your lemons makes for a crappy pitcher of lemonade?

Sliced of Citrus Lemons



CaN I BorRow SoME SUGA?!

I woke up angry and bitter a few mornings ago; it was random. I previously had a good day but for some reason woke up with a dark cloud around me. Sometimes emotions catch you even on good days. As I sat and stewed in my resentments I realized; I was indeed becoming bitter. I need to correct the situation ASAP and here’s how I plan to do it.


Don’t Rush the Recipe

At times we can become so eager to taste the lemonade that we try to rush through all the steps that make it worth while. We become enamored with the idea of coming out on top that we forget to take the necessary steps in turning a sour situation into a sweet outcome. It takes more than blasting Lizzo’s Truth Hurts on repeat, working out vigorously for your revenge bawdy or knowing all the words to Lemonade the album. I’m guilty to all.

It takes more than time. Fighting against bitterness takes work on the inner self to correct all mental and emotional damage that occurred to give you those lemons in the first place. I’ve even gone so far as to name my lemons, there’s Anger (that bitch is bitter), Pessimism, and Doubt.


Anger Management

I enrolled into anger management coaching once I realized that I no longer had control over my temper; though my storm is a quiet one, when it rages…it RAGES HOT. My little yoga breathes and safe mental space cower in the face of my temper. I needed help. It had begun to influence my thinking and my overall well-being; turning my gentle spirit into this lady…

old woman dark GIF

My anger is fanned or encouraged by my bitterness so in finding a way to manage my anger I am denying my bitterness the sustenance it needs to continue on.



Gratitude Journaling

Subsequently I found that my thinking had become more toxic


“THEY GOT ME F***** UP!”



An endless cycle of negative thoughts began devouring my mind. If my temper is the flames then my toxic thoughts were the match. Each thought is like a strike against a dry surface, waiting for my temper to ignite. I’m not saying that my emotions and thoughts weren’t warranted but they are not at all healthy and ultimately the only person suffering is me. My anger management coach suggested that I start gratitude journaling as a way to find the good things even the mist of the bad.

The JOUR app is free and easy to use. You can choose options that guide you through anxiety or forgiveness; or you can just use it as a personal journal. I fervently use it whenever I feel angry to understand the source and guide myself to healthier thinking.




The trickle down is continuous as my pessimism and anger mix well into doubt. Doubting that things will eventually turn sweet. Doubting that the wounds I have will heal.  Staying grounded in my faith helps to clear out the deception that things won’t get better. I surround myself with those who remind me of times when I’ve triumphed in the face of doubt and I steady myself in that faith. Because If I’m not careful anger, pessimism and doubt make the perfect pitcher of Diet, Sugar Free OLD People Lemonade and no one, NO ONE wants a glass of that!


That truth being that the taste of these lemons has left a bitterness  in my mouth and I ran out of sugar about three pitchers ago.



Using your bitterness in a way that is useful is a lesson you either learn from life or don’t. You can choose to walk around with the sour face from sucking on those lemons or you can transform them into something extraordinary. The things is…it doesn’t have to be lemonade. In truth, I don’t even like lemonade i.e. the formula of healing and forgiveness that works for others will not work for me. I’m short on sugar these days but have an excess of fiery tequila!

margarita GIF

My recipe for healing resembles one for a lemon-lime margarita, heavy on the salt and sugar rim. I may heal but I will not be the same, I pack a punch now. Beautifully intoxicating. I own my bitterness by being self aware that it exists and won’t deny those who dare take a sip. When you can’t make lemonade, make MARGARITAS!

My healing recipe has included self reflection, transparency with a dash of dependency with those I trust.  I give voice to my anger without dwelling on it and eventually I will transform that bitterness into mere cautiousness; protecting my heart while finding the belief that there are things/people in this world who can match my light.

Those who will compliment my taste.

There are days where it feels as though I have an excess amount of lemons with no room for another jug of lemonade. It’s on those days that I am force to pour it all down the drain, I have to let it go because I can’t hold onto it. Some of you have a refrigerator full of lemonade and every time you look at it you’re reminded of the bitterness. You need to throw it out. You need to reinvent something else from that pain.

Remember your healing recipe will look different. Just ensure you’re not sucking too long on sour lemons only to complain about the bitterness.Take back control. Look at what you have and get creative about how to deal with it all.

Plus, there’s so many drinks you can make with lemons, don’t waste your energy frustrated about not being able to make lemonade.


Millennial Lesson: Make Your Own Healing Recipe


Loving Let’s Build Yellow All Summer 19′

Ok Builders! Share the names of your LEMONS below and Let’s Build the best possible drink from out sour situations. 

Grab a fresh pack of batteries girls, I’m single. I know; I heard the collective gasp when you read the title but it’s true. I have been flung like a loose booger back into singledom and I wasn’t as prepared as I had previously hyped myself up to be. Not being able to say “I have a boyfriend,” to ward off the creeps has been sorely missed. And while I revel in all the possibilities of life and love that comes with singleness; I find that I am not ready to mingle.

The dating world is a thing of terror for me. I internally scream just thinking about the questions to come “What’s your favorite color?…” “Oh so you G.I. Jane?” and the never disappointing “SO cAn I cOmE tHrOuGh?” said best by Amanda Seales in her HBO special “What are we talking about????!!!” I want real connections but the truth is sometimes you have to put yourself out there and sift through the bullshit before you stumble upon the good stuff.

That’s where I’m drawing the line, as previously discussed in burned out to a crisp, I don’t have the energy or the willpower to introduce the fullness, and complexity of myself to another person hoping they’ll retain the fact that my favorite color is gold. I’m good and would much rather burn sage in my house, flirt excessively, fix the many broken pieces and love on myself for a while.


“It’s Better to have…STFU”

jack nicholson shut up GIF

I’m at the phase of my recent breakup where the saying “it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all” garners a hearty “FUCK ALLAT!” from a place deep within my spirit. My trust in romantic love has been severely damaged as my emotions have been twisted, torn and shattered due to various relationships. It is at this phase that most of my single friends encourage me to spread my “hoe” wings and fly to the next available erection to ease the sadness and embrace the single life; and I thought I’d be eager to do so. Turns out it’s not as simple as getting over my ex by getting under the next. What do you do when you’re newly single but not sure if you want to mingle?

Grab the Tissues

Mourning the lost of someone alive is top three worst experiences in life; up there next to stumping your pinky toe on the edge of the bed in the middle of the night. There’s a brief period in both where you swear something is permanently broken. The pain is still very much real for me and while it’s subsiding and I’m realizing that, no, the pinky toe is still attached; there’s this cautious fear I have for a while every time I walk around the edge of the bed. The same is true for the thought of inviting anyone else into my space even if only for a night. There’s a vulnerability and openness that comes even with the casual mingle that I’m not sure I’m ready for. And that’s okay.


Wholesome or Hoedom

I entertained the idea that if I was ever single again that I would throw myself blissfully into the hoe phase I had so foolishly deprived myself of during my college years. But now that I’m here, I’m not so sure. You see, though I have spent time alone and in reflection; I also look back and realized that I rolled from one tallywacker to the next even though I wasn’t the one pursuing; I accepted being caught. Now I can’t let countless energies enter into me until I can truly heal myself from all the heartbreak and trauma I’ve experienced over the years of my young life. The expectation is that I should sow my wild oaks….for now I’m good with being a kissing hoe with the mindless flirt tease to flex my single muscles.

hoe GIF



Hot Sign

I did some serious debating with myself trying to figure out if I was ready to tell the world about my new singleness for a very important reason. As soon as we utter the words “I’m single” after a long term relationship it’s like cutting the hot sign on at Krispy Kreme or Little Caesar’s; the masses flock for all the delectable goods you have in your procession. Truth is, though, I’m not a little Caesar’s pizza, I don’t have a sign saying hot and ready because I most definitely am not. So no doughnuts or pizza for you big fellas; I’m spending some of my time repairing, celebrating and improving.


Showing Some Ankle

Still, there’s power in remembering that you are still a person outside of your failed relationship and eventually putting yourself back in the game is necessary. I find myself more recently craving true, unfiltered testosterone in my life which let’s me know that my desire to mingle is only delayed and not dead. So, I use my flirting as the casual “layup” practice for when I’m ready to play the court again.

My flirt game is that of a more refined taste…

much like the near touch; I’ve been off limits for so long that just the mere show of an ankle-flirt is more than enough to get the blood flowing. Flirting just enough to make you question whether there’s a chance in hell but not enough for any of these men to actually attempt to take it any further. Showing that sexy ankle as a way to find my feminine powers and reassure the goddess in me.

red walk GIF by Dyan Jong


Regardless of whether you spread your “hoe” wings or choose to indulge in the near flirt; Do it all at your own pace. No one knows the conditions of your heart and mind quite like you do; being single again allows you to rediscover all of your strengths and wonderful qualities while reassessing what is deserving of your presence. Cherish this time as much as you can and remember “It’s better to have healed yourself than to have rushed to another tallywacker.”

Feel free to use that quote.


Alright Builders! Your turn, tell me your post break up stories. Comment Below and Let’s Build better self love affairs.



I can’t braid and still haven’t found the right shade of foundation to paint on my two toned face. And I like my hands dirty sometimes, motor oil and sweat mixed instead of a day spent behind the desk. I’m flat chested with just a suggestion of a curve at what should be my hips. With size 9 feet jotting out from my abnormally long legs. When I paint my toes there’s always some built up polish in the corners that dries. I don’t cry in front of people at the things that really hurt but the yearly Puff’s commercial leaves me running sensitively to the tissues. I have dark skin and darker big eyes. In the black community I’ve been told I’m not the right kind of woman all my life. Through suggestive comments and images of lighter skin and rounded asses. In society I am seen as much less a woman than an asset. I’ve had to learn how to love myself, for myself. Serena Williams recently said it best in her commercial proclaiming that “there’s no wrong way to be a woman.”

Greatest Commercial Ever

Let’s talk about building self-esteem by celebrating who we are, HOW we are. Here’s how…

Get Naked

Take it off baby, TAKE. IT. OFF.

Take off the layers of armor that you’ve allowed to protect you from the disappointment of not living up to the ideal female. Get naked with your emotions and for real. Sometimes I stare at myself in the mirror and admire the build of my body and the way my face lights up when I smile.


I could list all the things I wasn’t blessed with but I chose to only focus on finding the beauty of what’s in front of me. Lately I’ve also been realistic about exposing the seeping emotional wounds that I never nursed. The evidence of them leaking and poisoning my self esteem shows up when the inner voice whispers “you’re not enough” the root probably buried below a comment about my weight in ninth grade, or the cheating or the fact that one benefit from my friends with benefits wasn’t that he ended up choosing me. Uncovering all the little messages I’ve been sent and have been sending about what a woman should be is one way I reclaim my time, my life and my womanhood.


Validation versus Celebration

As a species we love validation in everything we do. We dress up knowing we look good but want someone to tell us how beautiful we are. We work hard and need others to praise how well put together and hardworking we are. Validation is necessary but the danger of it comes when hearing equals believing. Do you believe that you’re beautiful even if the one guy you dressed up for doesn’t even glance your way? How about after hearing “You’re cute for a dark skinned girl.” Do you believe that you’re enough of a woman even without all the things others project that a woman should be? Celebrate yourself by acknowledging and accepting your oddness in a world designed to encourage conformity. Celebrate yourself by interrupting the negative self view comments that broadcast in your head with positive messages about what you love about yourself and your life. Celebrate who you are, HOW you are. No apologies.



Expect the Unexpected

When you stop trying to live up to other people’s ideas of what you should be you may just find who you are and end up realizing how pretty fucking amazing your being is already. So you don’t live up to what your mom and older aunties think a woman should be because you’ve decided you don’t want kids right now. Or you happily flaunt your gorgeous voluptuous curves in a two piece against naysayers who whisper about your size. Or laugh when your athletic build makes men and women uncomfortable. Maybe you can’t do your own makeup but you’re a damn good cook; maybe you’re not domestic at all. You will always be the wrong kind of woman to someone but being the right kind of woman is only really important to one person in this world. YOU.


Being nominated by Scribbles & Tostitos for this award is the equivalent of  being given a mixed icy snow cone after being in the sun all day; it’s refreshing. While my work life has changed and I attempt to find a new balance that includes blogging, there is never a day that I don’t write notes or ask questions pertaining to a possible blog post that is well-rounded, helpful and a little fun. The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are inspiring and bring sunshine into the lives of their readers and fellow bloggers through their post content. A person is nominated or chosen by fellow bloggers for this award. When nominated you must answer the following questions that allow readers to get a closer look at the person behind the computer screen. So, as I peel the curtain back and give you a little peek, try not to judge too harshly. Here goes nothing….



Why did you decide to blog?

I decided to blog as a way to see if I really had anything to say that would be received well  by others. The initial Let’s Build brand was meant to be a mentoring program and I wanted to ensure that I could bring out my thoughts, experiences, advice in a realistic way for consumption. It kinda took on a whole different life of its own and cultivated a separate identity.


Where do you want to be in 5 years (personally, professionally, and physically?)

Personally, I want to build stronger relationships with myself and those that I love.

Professionally, I would love to work in school counseling and have a mentoring program that helps student-families for the paths available to them after high school to combat generational poverty. Oh, I want to be paid too. WELL. Like student loans paid off completely and never to enter my life again well.

Physically, a body like Beyoncé.




Tell us about your favorite place in the world.

The world itself is one of my favorite places, at least the actual physical aspects of it, the jury is still out when it comes to the people who inhabit it. I’m fascinated easily so I don’t know if I can pick A place but I can imagine THE place looks a lot like Ireland, or the caves of Portugal or the Sistine Chapel. Even an old dusty bookstore sandwiched between tall buildings. I guess my favorite place is anywhere that allows me to explore my truest self while I marvel at the view.
As a kid, what did you do for fun?

I did everything and nothing. I had such a vivid, active imagination as a kid that I could stay outside or in my room all day with little to nothing. I’d do elaborate hours-long soap operas with my Barbie dolls that would rival any story plot The Young and The Restless had at the time. Outside I would use what I could find to craft an adventure and because I am the youngest of my siblings, I would often have to play multiple parts of the story for it to be entertaining. I should really be an award-winning actress now that I think about it.


What is your biggest tip for new bloggers?

Build your own aesthetic based off the content that you enjoy writing. You don’t have to post pictures of coffee mugs and white, linen sheets for the classic go-to blog look. Make blogging truly yours. Take those “3 useful tips for blogging” and “How to become a popular blog” posts with a grain of salt and a pitch of personality.



What false assumption do people make about you?

That I am a proper lady. Innocent and all I think and do.


Besides blogging, what is something you’re currently working on?

Myself. Getting my shit together and attempting to breathe life into the Let’s Build Mentoring Program.


What is your funniest memory?

When my older sister and I were teenagers we stayed up until 3 a.m. listening to music and dancing until we got the bright idea to record a music video on my sister’s phone. We were laughing at everything because we were drunk with sleep and having the most fun for no reason. We did our video to Chris Brown’s Kiss Kiss in which my sister even did the beginning T-Pain talking part so close in the phone camera that we could not help but laugh the hardest laugh after watching it 20 times before we finally passed out.


Tell us about your perfect day?

uhmmm…what about a perfect moment. I like to break the rules so we’ll go with that instead. I have two recent moments that were perfect.

I was riding in the car with my boyfriend on the back roads of Georgia. We were passing wide open fields that looked like the ideal places to frolic. It was an amazing mix of bluish, gray sky and soft rain. With R&B playing, feet on the dash and testosterone in the driver’s seat.

After knocking back 7 margaritas on an island in Mexico, I left my friends and drunkly ventured off to a swinging bed surrounded by palm trees. It had a quiet view of the ocean. The breeze was just right, the sky was brilliant blue and I just felt at peace. I felt connected to everything and imagined that this must be how people feel when they’re high even though I was only intoxicated from tequila. I belonged to the world and the world belonged to me. It was perfect.



What’s your favorite post on your blog?

The Infamous Reputation of Forgiveness is my favorite blog post because it poses an important question and addresses the hidden issue with how we think about forgiveness or lack thereof.


Speech, SPEECH!

I would like to thank God and my mama…that’s how they usually start right?

I would like to thank my readers for your amazing feedback; you’ve made this first blogging year an amazing one.

Blogging community you’re amazing, I love how new bloggers are made to feel as though there is room for all of us.

And a special thanks to Scribbles & Tostitos who has written another great post at her website. Go check it out!


I would like to nominate the following amazing bloggers!


Overly ambitious is one of my favorite posts by this blog!

Blogging with a Purpose is a great post by this blog!

Fatty McCupcakes

How do I make shit happen is an awesome post by this blog!

One Millennial Girl

Dear Side Job is my favorite post from this blog!


Questions for nominees:

1. Why did you decide to blog?
2. Where do you want to be in 5 years (personally, professionally, and physically)?
3. Tell us about your favorite place in the world.
4. As a kid, what did you do for fun?
What is your biggest tip for new bloggers?
5. What false assumption do people make about you?
6. Besides blogging, what is something you’re currently working on?
7. What is your funniest memory?
8. Tell us about your perfect day.
9. What is your favorite post on your blog?













Practicing delayed gratification is said to be something successful people do but when you’re not yet successful it can just feel like an endless cycle of telling yourself “No, not yet.” “No Wait.” “Don’t spend that you may need it.” or “Don’t go there you can’t afford it.”

Destination Gratification: Flight 2018 Delayed

I love going into the mall to gaze longingly at all the s—- I can not afford. I am the queen of delayed gratification but the truth is, it only works because I “gratify” myself in some way. If you’re trying to save money or spend less, it’s often believed that you must cut out activities that encourage consumerism. I, in fact, think that the best advice is to conquer those places, because let’s face it, my favorite coffee shop is a place I go to clear my head or bury it deep into a book.

The $5 iced mocha with cinnamon and whipped cream is a knee-jerk reaction to feeling like I’m expected to buy something because I’m benefiting from the calm, creative environment. NOBODY said I had to buy a $5 coffee though; I could buy the orange juice for $1.50 and enjoy a few hours of uninterrupted reading/writing just as much. Sometimes delayed gratification doesn’t mean skipping gratification altogether, it can also mean just downgrading it.



Treat each personal expedition like a trip into the super market because no one likes to be caught in the grocery store starving, with no list.


Modify to Moderation

How often you do something effects aspects like enjoyment and expenses. If you’re at Starbucks every day then not only will it get pricey but that caramel macchiato may not taste as great because of over saturation (OKAY it definitely will) but the idea is to place yourself on a consumer diet. You can cut back on your weekly/monthly/yearly intake of shopping/eating out/pampering without completely stopping the things you enjoy like going to the mall or that cute, pricey restaurant downtown. Spread out how often you visit places that encourage you to buy, buy, BUY!

Any healthy, effective diet allows you to indulge a little to keep you from falling off the wagon. I try to give myself a small break of dinner and a movie once a month like discussed in Fajitas and Feeling Myself because no one wants to be all work (or delayed gratification) and no play. It’s important for your mental health to do the things you enjoy but it’s equally important to your wallet to do so in moderation.


Budget to Your Benefit

Whenever I go to the mall, Barnes & Nobles, or my favorite coffee place, I go in with a set amount that I’ve saved up just for the occasion. I usually go to my coffee shop 1 to 2 times every two weeks and the mall every couple of months (because I can honestly find whatever I need cheaper somewhere else, so I go solely for the atmosphere). Whether I place my money cap at $5 up to $25; I know that I have a set amount I’m not going above. I treat my personal enjoyment outings like a trip to the grocery store with a mental list of what I want out of my experience.  If my goal is to enjoy the company of 10 strangers while reading Gather Together In My Name by Maya Angelou then I really have no desire to spend on others things like the huge brownie staring at me from the barista’s counter. Which brings me to the next point…


Game Plan

Treat each personal expedition like a trip into the super market because no one likes to be caught in the grocery store starving, with no list. Going with a specific purpose works wonders. When you have no idea what you want out of your experience you could end up overspending.

Going to Soule Cafe usually means I want to get some blogging or reading done so picking water over a huge mug of delicious coffee only slightly hurts. And for the ones that are saying, “Why not just stay home?” the answer to that lies within the fact that many creative types have a certain place or zone that stimulates their craft. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice that place unless you find it particularly difficult to stick to your original game plan. I personally still feel gratified having accomplished the task I set out to do in a soothing environment. When I go to the mall it’s because I want to be out and do something; If I walk away with one small Forever 21 bag with a $7 shirt in it, I still feel like…


because I effectively scratched the itch to shop while staying within my $20 budget and still have enough for a trip to the food court (WINNING!)

Heading out on a Saturday afternoon with a game plan I’ve concocted throughout the week helps me stay true to my emotional/mental needs as well as my financial ones.

In the mall

First I make a strategic B line for the $10 sales rack at Aeropostale; head straight up the middle of the mall (Avoiding all eye contact with kiosks!), tackle the stacks of sales books at Barnes and Nobles then rush the end zone (parking lot) for the win! BOOO-YAAA.

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How do you conquer YOUR consumerism? Comment below and Let’s Talk. 


Our deal breakers have become like a vast ocean in which we end up drowning ourselves, trying to stay afloat from something we’re convinced is going under at the first sign of distress.

“He did what??!! Oh girl leave his a**!” can be heard in any given living room on a Saturday night while two good friends are filling their glasses to the brim and comforting each other.

When did forgiveness become the other bad “F” word?



The reputation of forgiveness has been battered from the time women decided they were fed up being passive, docile and submissive to male counterparts who historically didn’t appreciate or reciprocate it. From being financially unstable to full-blown adultery; forgiveness is the last option your friends will advise you of. And to be honest it’s usually the last blimp on your radar in your own mind. For us INDEPENDENT LADIES (and even Man’s Man) forgiveness = settling and that’s a big NO NO.

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Whether it’s relationships, friendships or partnerships we are out before the first “I’m Sorry” settles in the wake of our dust track.
Now, I’m not talking about forgiving someone because you are convinced that there isn’t better out there but true forgiveness when you know you deserve better but will allow the one who hurt to fix it and be better.


The Lie

In the beginning there was love…

And then the lie that real love is somehow perfect. Reinforce this logic with television and young adult novels and this is what happens…

I don’t know the exact moment when I became a hopeless romantic; I do know that around age 11 I thought of love as a combination of Disney movies, Nicholas Sparks plots, and enough passion to melt all the candles in any given Catholic Church.

So, it was no surprise that I fell head over heels, love at almost first sight when I was only 15. I stayed that way for another 7 years until I had to make a decision that many young women are faced with.

He cheated.

Do I stay or do I leave?

I left.

One of the hardest and most exhilarating things I had done up until that point in my life. I had made a choice to draw a line in the dirt so to speak and decided that after seeing other women in my life mistreated by men who always expected to be forgiven; I would be different. That I would be stronger.

Stronger I said to myself.


Who Hurt You Girl?

For the next few years I told myself that it was a deal breaker to ever take a man back after he cheats just because you love him. To ever settle with someone who wasn’t financially or emotionally my equal was out of the question. I was a militant force in the idea that once a cheater always a cheater; once trust is broken it cannot be rebuilt.

“I gave the last one three chances so that means you get zero because he used it all up.”

Walking away was not the same as forgiving and so I carried that grudge, pain, insecurity and mistrust around with me like a sloppy drunk friend needing a hand up eight flights of stairs.

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Then something changed. I matured. And looked at my own life and the world around me with new eyes.

I saw women I revered forgive “ain’t shit men” for the unthinkable not because they didn’t know who they were without their men but because they had a true understanding of themselves. They knew they could forgive.

And what is forgiveness but the highest expression of love?

In truth, as hard as walking away was, it was still easier than staying and dealing with the broken trust, plethora of lies and embarrassment. I was battling a stigma that staying meant compliance, that forgiveness meant weakness.

But the more I discover the truth behind every fairy tale we tell ourselves about love; the more I realize that in essence every choice comes from a place of love. Whether it’s love for yourself or the other person.


Judgmental AF

Then why is it that we look down on others for forgiving the one they love after an affair? Or after he quits his high paying job to pursue a risky investment?

We can be downright ruthless in this day and age when we discover that a woman has stayed after being stepped out on. Sometimes I get it. Hell I use to be in the streets with my white picket sign right alongside the crowd chanting “Girl Quit! He ain’t Shit! Girl Quit! He Ain’t Shit!”


Especially when we have women who think like this…



Yet, this is quick judgement on our part. Do we ever stop to think about what has happened to develop such a mind-set? Or if the couple has been married for years why do we assume that the woman doesn’t love herself enough just because she’s stayed for her love of him? Goodness forbid a man forgive a woman; we then question how he’s able to stand up without a backbone.


Forgiveness is actually for you too Sis

We joke our way through the pain we still feel with memes like…



I had a very real wake up call when my ex passed away. My sisters had married into his family so no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t escape him completely. And he was just fine with that, forcing me to be his friend throughout the years with semi-annual updates and contact.  But he left this earth and I don’t ever think I let him know that he was forgiven because he wasn’t, not really.

So everything I thought I packed away with the walking papers I’d given him years earlier came rushing to the surface. The love, the anger but eventually the forgiveness that took a lost of life to process. My grief was made that much more complicated. We hear the line, forgiveness is not just for the other person but also for you, all the time. We just don’t take it seriously.

Trust me, forgiveness is hard enough without having to process suppressed anger and grief along with it.


And what is forgiveness but the highest expression of love?

“Forgive but don’t Forget”

Forgiveness is more like a process than a one-hitter-quitter. Simply because you don’t forget. Unless you bump your head and those memories go bye-bye then what that person did is forever stuck up there replaying itself at the most inconvenient times.

Today, I forgave my dad about various things from my childhood and it was easy. Tomorrow it could be harder. I look at it as a day by day process. That way you can still honor your own complicated emotions without an expectation that they’re supposed to disappear with “I forgive you.”

Hurt is similar to a stone being thrown into a calm river. You don’t know where those ripples will lead. He quit his job. Now you’re behind on the mortgage and just found out your third child is on the way.

It can be scary to forgive because you’re essentially allowing something that hurt/disappointed you back into your space. I understand. I’m there with you. My space is sacred AF and anything that challenges that balance is likely to be discarded. Just remember that even when walking away, at some point you still need to forgive. Otherwise it will follow you through every friendship, relationship, or partnership in the form of mistrust, suspicion, and invulnerability.


Self Reflection

With individuals, especially strong women, it seems that being vulnerable is hard enough but having that vulnerability tested in any way from our partner through infidelity, financial instability, or miscommunication; it’s almost always a deal breaker. We celebrate being bold enough to walk away from “his trifling ass” and condemn those who stay just for love. But an interesting twist seems to be that what makes us strong actually makes us weak.

Our own narrative about being individuals who won’t settle for less often throws out the good along with the bad for the sake of not seeming weak; in our minds and the minds of others. Personally, as of right now, I still have my laundry list of deal breakers but I see the power it has taken to forgive and cultivate a new love out of the bad actions or choices of a loved one. I’m still learning how to do this thing called forgiveness but maybe I should start by being less judgmental of the ones who are already good at it.

I am not an advocate for being a doormat; forgiving the perpetual inconsiderate person or serial cheater but there is some space for consideration to be had. The newfound emotional protective walls that my generation has built leaves little room for moving forward. Forgiving, in itself, can be liberating (or so I’ve heard) Why not try it out?


Do you feel forgiveness is not as celebrated as it should be? Or do women still overdo it? What about men? LET’S TALK ABOUT IT! Comment below.




How many of us have them?


Ones you can depend on????


I guess the real question in that song should be…

How many have you grown apart from?

I’m not talking about those “friends” who are only considered friends because you go to the same school , work at the same place or come from the same town. No. I mean those real friends. The friend you told about kissing a girl that one time. The friend who you took care of when they were shit faced. The one who has so much dirt on you they walk around looking like Pig Pen in his Halloween costume.


And you will definitely be haunted by that fact now that you’ve grown apart from them.

Now that I think about it I need to get my lawyer to draw up some NDAs (nondisclosure agreements) for my friends STAT!



By now you’ve probably been reading my posts and wondering


Rest assured that I not only write from experience but secondary experience i.e. shit my friends have been through. Mostly, I write from somewhere in between.

This is the in between.

Let’s discuss how it feels when you grow apart from someone you were once close to.


Best Friend Forever

Solid friendships usually develop during a major milestone in which two people prove they have a strong connection based on experiences and time. Those milestones could be college, working environments, or connecting over the guy who was cheating on you both (no judgement).

College roommate turned bestie.

Coworker turned confidant; connecting over your similar home life issues at work.

Enemy turned friend while eating a tub of rocky road and complaining how he ain’t shit.

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Friendships blossom spontaneously and they give you someone in this world who loves and understands you. That’s why it hurts when you grow apart. A rift turns into the grand canyon until one day you realize that you’ve truly lost your friend because so much time has passed and you don’t even know each other anymore.


What Happened?!

I don’t have all the answers on why people grow apart. I do know that people change. We play specific roles in different areas of our life and the lives of other people. So, maybe that person no longer has the traits or characteristics necessary to comfortably fill that role in your life. That “fun” friend may have become more responsible and serious since his girlfriend had the baby. The “understanding” friend may have backed away to tend to their own personal emotional issues. That best friend may have lost herself for a while and then found a new version of herself that doesn’t include you. OUCH.

That one stung.


I asked around to see the responses to “What is the hardest part when growing apart from someone you were once close to?” Here’s what I got…


“When something happens to you whether it’s amazing or sad and the first person you want to talk to is that person. Then you remember y’all aren’t close anymore.”

Truly being close to someone or calling them a friend means that you include them in the highlights of your life. They’re usually one of the first people who you trust with information or want to share an experience with. You seek their advice or opinion often and cherish feedback that they give you about your life. When you grow apart you lose all of that. More importantly, they lose it as well.


“Getting over the memories that like to replay themselves”

How many can relate to that 4 a.m. insomnia fest that brings up every memory, good and bad, about that lost friend or lover. Could it be the grease from that midnight pizza that’s causing this mental regurgitation or the unsettling feeling of never getting closure?

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“Trying not to blame yourself (when it’s not your fault)”

It’s not your fault and sometimes it’s not theirs either. Growing apart is usually a result of growth if there was no rift to act as a catalyst. Growth is a staple of life. Your friend may have just grown in another direction but whose to say that in one of your growth spurts you two won’t reconnect stronger than ever.


“It’s like a betrayal to the love you thought you had with that person because it couldn’t stand up against life or time”

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I have this guy bestie who lives on the other side of the country and has traveled the world. We go months without talking. But when we do it’s like no time at all has passed. It’s a very special connection that I hold dear to my heart but the truth is not every friendship is built that way. It can be hurtful once you come to this realization but does that mean the love you had with that person is weaker?


Tell me, what’s the hardest part for you when growing apart from someone you were once close to? Comment below and Let’s Talk.







I could’ve been mistaken for a divorcee soccer mom with a habit of drinking too much wine before 12 p.m. I felt as though I was completely lost in life, not knowing what purpose I was to serve, what talents I had and confused on why it was taking so long to get on my feet after years of hard work. I was barely 25 going through a mid-life crisis  quarter-life crisis.

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GIPHY:  Me. Any Monday morning two years ago

As millennials, we get called all kinds of bad names by the “grown-ups” like dramatic, lazy or self-centered but the reality is that a lot of the economic, mental, and financial stress we face has a negative impact on us getting a healthy start to adult life.

After pursuing higher education and working multiple jobs just to still break even, success whether financial or otherwise can feel like…it can feel like…Well. Like this…



GIPHY: That oh shit wtf is going on moment


It can often feel as though if you don’t have everything figured out by the time you’re 18 then you’re behind the curve. But who the hell knows exactly what they want and how to get there at 18? (very few)

This inadvertent pressure put on us by societal expectations, competition mentality coupled with no real mentors leaves many young adults reeling from the lies they’ve been told.

“Go to school to get a good job and make good money,” THEY SAID

They didn’t tell us about the hurdles that exist in attempting to escape generational poverty/low-income households, obstacles millennials are facing in the job market due to the previous recession, or the other important things like how to network, team up or seek mentorship etc…

This leaves us feeling like failures and frustrated with ourselves in a world that doesn’t understand why we feel like we have it hard.

I use to stay in my room (I had moved back in with the parentals) drink wine, binge on Netflix and hiss at anyone who dared to knock on my door. I was a regular Scrooge in the middle of July.

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Safe to say that this was not healthy. Job hunts went from confident searches to desperate obsessions and it felt like a chore to even get out of bed most days.

For those of you who can relate, here are a few tips to getting back to being yourself so that you can ring in the new year with a better understanding of where you’ve been and how to move on from there. Kick this quarter-life crisis’ a**!

Tip #1

Put the drink (dank) or whatever down.

Some days it’s the only thing that felt like it alleviated the anxiety and depression but trust me you don’t want to become reliant on substances in dealing with difficult emotions. Find another outlet like taking a walk. Sunshine can make a world of difference as opposed to day-drinking in a dark room alone. Plus a bottle a day gets kinda pricey.


Tip #2

Make a real plan.

When you’re lost it can feel like no plan makes sense but it’s dangerous to not have an idea of who you are and what you want. One of the things that helped me was making a list (and checking it twice hahaha).

I made a list of everything from my perceived strengths and weaknesses to what I wanted and needed out of life in order to consider myself successful. I went from not knowing what I wanted, to one day realizing that I could keep others from dealing with similar downfalls by starting a mentoring program.

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Tip #3

Don’t sell yourself short.

Don’t become so engrossed in getting a job or man or whatever that you aren’t paying attention to the quality and compatibility while in your search. Case and point? I was so shook by not having jobs lined up for me after returning home that I just started putting applications in for every job posting I saw.

The result?

I got into a job (s) that made my quarter-life crisis worst due to their incompatibility with what I wanted and was capable of providing.

Understand you’re still valuable regardless of where you are at this point in your life to avoid getting into situations that negatively affect you because you sold yourself short.

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Tip #4

It’s not just you.

I’m “a pull yourself up by the bootstraps” kinda girl or at least I was until I realized that I didn’t have any f****** boots to begin with!

When we’re down in the dumps it’s easy to be your toughest critic or downright self enemy but sometimes it’s because we had unrealistic expectations without understanding that the starting line was pushed back farther from our peers.

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In acknowledging your obstacles, you can empower yourself with knowledge and goals to overcome them. My situation was a 50/50 split. I had things I could have done differently and difficulties based on my circumstances that were never brought to my attention. It’s okay to fall but don’t let you or anything else keep you down.

Last thing.

It’s called quarter-life crisis for a reason. Apparently the feeling is not just exclusive to you or I but shared with some of our millennial kin. You will come out the other side with a new understanding of yourself and the world around you.

When I think back to the ghost of my quarter-life crises past, I do so with a respect for that moment in my life. It helped me to figure out where I went wrong and where society went wrong to have so many millennials experiencing this same thing. I needed to endure that time in my life in order to figure out myself, my life and my purpose.

So, get fresh air, scream in your pillow and know that you’ll be alright. #LETSBUILD

P.S. stop hissing at your loved ones. SORRY MOM!



PSST! check out this article on quarter life crisis