Our Trip To Gulf Shores, Alabama

Summer 2020 has been nothing like I envisioned it to be. An eventful, sunny season is ultimately my favorite time of year and honestly all that I’d hope it to be. Due to the ongoing and everlasting pandemic, COVID-19 has gotten in the way of many things. I miss vacations! I miss itineraries and sizable events/ activities. Will traveling ever go back to being what we knew it to be? I just want it to be over!

I am optimistic that we will be able to take trips like we used to, but in the meantime, I’d like to be creative and find a way to just… get away. If not only but for a short and sweet moment, wouldn’t that be nice? July is a significant month for me and represents a time of love, joy, and happiness. For starters, it is the birth month for myself (July 10th) & a host of other family and friends! CANCERS UNITE!

It’s also the month that my husband and I wed. July 2020 will always be significant, marking five years of marriage! Could you imagine being equally excited to celebrate an occasion such as this but weary about how to even approach the planning for it? To be truthful, we’d almost given up on planning anything. What was there to do? What was SAFE to do?

There may not be much to do, but there was one thing that we knew to do: we had to get away. Our research on VRBO led us to condo rentals that wouldn’t be too far from home in Gulf Shores, Alabama. We have vacationed there a couple of times before and have always managed to have a great time. We hadn’t heard in any surge of COVID-19 cases there, and the rental properties seemed to have accommodations, rules, and guidelines due to the current pandemic that we could comply with. I started to become intrigued by the possibilities of being able to escape my bedroom, office, and living room spaces.

DisclaimerHeads up! My posts contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission, which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

Young’s Suncoast Condo Rentals
We found a beautiful one-bedroom condo within minutes from the Gulf Shores beach. Young’s Suncoast has several properties within the area (Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan). The One Club condo property offered us many amenities, a few that we could take advantage of such as a restaurant and bar that delivered, 24/7 Fitness Center, and private cabanas. Check out pictures from the Young’s Suncoast website for pictures of vacation rental properties. I decided to decorate our condo on arrival day with themed balloon colors and anniversary keepsakes. Everything turned out flawlessly and set the tone for a weekend full of love, happiness, and relaxation.

White, Gold, Teal Balloons
Gold Backdrop
Feathers

Beach Bums & Sandcastles
Public beaches are open if you’re in or near Alabama! It’s dead in the middle of Summer and thanks to COVID, my family and I haven’t had any family fun at the beach. We were able to find a spot on the beach, at a safe distance from everyone else, and hang out for the day. It was nice to watch the waves (which were high that day) and lay out in the sun. I walked the shore for a bit before building sandcastles with my husband and son.

Eat and Merry
Normally when I travel, I like to dine-in at restaurants that I’ve never experienced. I truly miss life pre-COVID. We worked around restaurant closures and limited menus the best that we could and honestly owe Door Dash a huge thank you! If you don’t have this food delivery service it is worth the app to download on your smartphone. Another Broken Egg is one of my favorite brunch restaurants and every time I visit Gulf Shores, it is a must-have. Usually, I’d recommend restaurants like GT’s On The Bay or Barefoot Island Grill. If you don’t have to venture out, let the food come to you. Here’s some Door Dash promo codes for July. Hurry, they’ll be expiring soon.

We Are Family
I envisioned a tropical vacation trip out of the country (it would’ve been my first time) for my fifth wedding anniversary. I’d previous thoughts about taking a cruise or a trip to the Bahamas. However, circumstances allowed us to create memories in other ways. Fun Fact: My husband and I didn’t get to have a real honeymoon after our wedding. The trip to Gulf Shores allowed my family and me to find innovative ways to bond. Usually, vacations are filled with activities, events, and itineraries. Quality time indoors while you’re away from home is typically minimal but, it deepened our communication with each other. For example, we played Zingo (a fun sight word game for toddlers) for a family fun night. Landon enjoyed identifying words on his (and everyone else’s) boards and getting a taste of winning at games.

What Summer travel plans did you have to change due to COVID-19? Will you still be taking any trips with the Summer almost coming to an end? Have you taken any trips yet this Summer? Leave a comment below.

Social Distancing: Choosing to Self- Care & Keep the Faith

How are you doing? What have you been doing? What do you make of all of this?

The world has been under stress while trying to remain calm in the midst of chaos. The arguably most infectious virus, COVID-19, continues to sweep the nation indoors! I have been following the frightening headlines since February to present day, and you know what? I’M TIRED! Two weeks ago marked the last time that I would have punched a time clock, the last time my son would see his friends and teacher, and the first time I was forced to distance myself and my family from the outer world due to safety concerns. Our regular routine as we once knew it is no more. I’ve had to get innovative to keep some sanity and normalcy, to keep from spiraling out into a depression. The thing about home is that this is our resting place, our “safety net”, where we come to take a break from the things we used to do everyday. Now our home is home to Miss Mama’s P-4 Academy, the Buchanan YouTube GYM, and our updated version of “The Office”– minus the paper sales. All of these headquarters reside right in our forever transforming living room.

Miss Mama’s P-4 Academy was created to keep Landon sharp on his writing, tracing, coloring, and reading. Every morning (Monday- Friday), Landon and I begin classwork after breakfast–around 8-9am. We first tackle the task of tracing and writing his name. Mary’s Little Lambs, the school Landon attends, put together a packet of schoolwork to keep kids busy and on track with the curriculum. The packet consists of writing, coloring, counting and matching skill sets.

Landon practicing writing his name, coloring, and matching opposites.
Landon practicing writing his name, coloring, and matching opposites.

After classwork is completed, Landon has the option of going outside to play in the front yard or taking a walk in the neighborhood. He almost always chooses going for the walk first and we decide to just go back outside later in the afternoon. The walk– which is fun for all parties involved– is usually no more than a block or two and we come back home. The rest of the afternoon is dedicated to free time, usually after a well needed and deserved nap.

TIP: flashcards have been our latest game to encourage spelling of words. We also have alphabet letter magnets on our refrigerator that we use to also encourage spelling.

I’ve made it to the peak time of my day, which usually involves Miss Mama taking off her name tag, and taking care of important business in “The Office”. Usually I get started around 2-3pm, and that time consists of working strictly from my laptop or phone. My main job doesn’t require or call for working from home, so this is a benefit to working on building my brand. I’ve been given more time to create more content, engage with and build my audience, and committing to a more consistent writing schedule. This will last until about 7pm, and then I start transitioning into retiring for the day.

Self-care time with Que Bella Beauty products!
Hydrating Pineapple Peel Off Mask/ Intensive Foot Sock Mask both left my skin feeling rejuvenated!

Self-care is important and I believe in it without a shadow of a doubt. It’s even more important to take care while I’m going to be inside for at least the next 30 days. Last week I gave myself a mini facial and a foot mask all while still managing to fit in family time! Every self-care activity I choose is different, of course. I may decide to meditate and/or workout. Yesterday, I did a 25- minute Hip Hop Workout right from my living room TV. Sometimes I choose to rest and simply “be still”. I also choose to avoid the internet for a few hours (and that can turn into days) to shut out all the noise. Internet traffic is HEAVY right now and actually, so are all streaming platforms. I’ve been watching more TV than usual due to all the extra time I’ve got on my hands for the next few weeks. Below you can see a list of all the movies and TV shows that I’ve been watching while being in the house. Make sure you’re following me on social media to see my thoughts and reviews!

NOTE: this list is subject to be updated at any time.

It may seem like I’ve got it all figured out but I’m just winging it. There’s really only three keys to making it through quarantining and social distancing, with the main one being following through. PLEASE! Stay at home and practice social distancing only in essential situations (going to work, going to grocery stores). Stay positive! This is an obstacle but just like any other, we can and we will make it through. Find the silver lining to what this has forced us to do, which is be still and take care. Creativity will lead the way if you allow it. In times of boredom, it’s amazing what your mind can create.

Comment below and tell me what you’ve been doing during this time. I’m looking for new ideas! I want to share these experiences with you all.

35 Things I Want To Do Before Turning 35

Time waits for no one.

With everything that is happening in the world right now, I can’t help but sit and reflect. Life has a funny way of slowing you down. It’s been forcing me to really sit down and put some long thought into what I reaaallly need to be coming to terms with. What’s that? So glad that you asked. Life is short and if you let it, it can pass you by.

I know you know the sayings, just like I know the sayings. We’ve heard them quite a few times throughout our lives, but is it just a saying or is it really that real? While I have been choosing to isolate at home by way of social distancing, I’ve been thinking of all the things that I should be doing. That I have been putting off or simply making excuses as to reasons why they can’t be done. I’ve let myself get distracted from meeting my goals, guys!! I’m thirty-one years old and there’s still so much that I want to do. The younger me thought that I would’ve been “settled” and boyyyy was I wrong. 

Hold up! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been enjoying life but I’ve realized that there are things that I have not had the chance to do yet; that I thought I would have by this stage in life. I haven’t and will not give up on them, as there are other things I want to experience again because it makes me happy. Who doesn’t want to experience something that made them once happy over and over

So, I’ve decided to come up with a list. A list of things that I would like to do before reaching the next “major milestone” in my life. I did the math. I’m thirty-one now. In four years, I will be thirty-five. Four years should be enough time to knock off a few goals, right? Did I come up with realistic ideas that can be achieved? How much can one achieve in four years? It’ll at least give me some things to look forward to doing. As long as I am manifesting my goals, I can keep being the driving force in actually accomplishing whatever it is I want! I’ve attached my list below and included a few that I’m working on already, to give myself a head start. Read the list and wish me luck! Maybe, just maybe, you’re inspired and want to make your own list. That’s awesome!  Leave me a comment below so that I can follow along with you! 

  1. Become a Successful Blogger
  2. Travel/ Vacation to Miami, Florida
  3. Buy/Build a House
  4. Travel/ Vacation Outside of the U.S.
  5. Renew my vows
  6. Relocate to a new state
  7. Take Online Courses/ Go to University
  8. Go on a Cruise
  9. Increase my net worth
  10. Upgrade my car
  11.  Lower my debt/ increase my credit score
  12. Partner with a major corporate brand
  13. Travel/ Vacation to Los Angeles, California
  14. Attend a concert/ Attend a festival
  15. Successfully own a business
  16. Become a member of a church
  17. Own a creative space
  18. Redecorate/ Interior decorate my home
  19. Learn a new skill
  20. Spend more time with family/ friends
  21. BE HAPPIER!
  22. Support a hobby/ extracurricular activity of my son’s
  23. Attend a Paint ‘N Sip Party
  24. BE HEALTHIER!
  25. Take my mother on a shopping spree
  26. Take myself on a shopping spree
  27. Go to therapy
  28. Create a meditation schedule
  29. Chase my dreams
  30. Gain 25 pounds
  31. Establish a tribe
  32. Read 10 different books
  33. Make/ create a new project
  34. Exercise two times a day
  35. Go to a ball/ gala

How Letting Go Of Negative Thoughts Changed My Life

The road to self-improvement can be a constant journey that requires regular maintenance. I know myself, I know that I have what it takes to continue working on myself, but I can’t always find the time to work on every aspect that bothers me in my life. I am consistently being challenged to find more ways to persevere through obstacles that arise and it sometimes triggers me to react negatively. My thoughts and fears take over (and not in ways that are optimistic or positive); sending me on a downward spiral of self-doubt and uncertainty. I’ve learned how to channel that energy into practicing mindfulness and meditation and it’s really been essential to my self-help development. But—real talk. I don’t always feel like being mindful or meditating everyday. I AM HUMAN. I get lazy, weary, and unconcerned just like you and anyone else that reacts to negative thoughts and fears in their lives (personal, professional, social).

Stop and Redirect Negative Energy

When my thoughts and emotions start taking over and controlling my reactions, I’ve learned to stop and redirect them. The one thing that I’ve learned while practicing meditation is that the mind can drift off if you let distractions deter you. You know that you can multi-task, you know that you can focus on more than one thing at time. It’s very easy to lose focus on positivity and the things that matter the most to you. Shifts happen all the time in everyday life, what went well today may not go well tomorrow and boom! You’re in your head again. Adjusting to shifts in your routine and everyday life isn’t always a quick and easy transition. PRO TIP: stay vigilant. You cannot allow negative emotions dictate your life. The moment that you feed into that negative energy, you are creating and building more obstacles and hurdles for yourself. Discipline yourself to stop and redirect that energy somewhere. Channel it into something else that will emote positive results and energy.

Write Your Thoughts Down

My head can easily get clogged attempting to process every single thought and feeling that you have. Painfully overwhelming! What makes it more difficult is trying to sort out those feelings and emotions all at once. It’s too much! How can I solve my problems when I can’t even clearly think about them? Writing down thoughts, feelings, and fears can and will declutter your mind, giving me at least a moment of peace. Writing has always been a safe haven for anyone to be able to speak their mind freely. PRO TIP: write it down and read it to yourself aloud. Decide if it’s worth holding on to. If your answer is yes, stop and redirect. If your answer is no, ball up your piece of paper with your thoughts and feelings, and throw it away. Let go of that feeling of wanting to think and react negatively.

Nobody Is At Fault

As I’ve stated earlier, I AM HUMAN. There’s no way that I should be expecting myself to be perfect, yet I still do. I’ve trained myself that I should expect nothing but excellence. I’m a planner and an organizer. In my mind, I think that I have what it takes to be perfect. Truth is, it’s impossible for anyone to be perfect. However, for some odd reason I think that I’m supposed to handle every thought and feeling perfectly. I’ve since learned that I need to take a moment, stop and redirect. Realistically I cannot think that everything that I do or every emotion that I have is going to be positive. Especially while on a path to self-improvement because *spoiler alert*– it doesn’t happen overnight. I’m going to stop blaming myself every time something goes wrong. I’m also going to discipline myself to stop blaming others every time something goes wrong. PRO TIP: the plan is to always continue moving forward. It’s never personal, it’s a challenge. Don’t question the challenge (no matter how difficult that it may be). Stop and redirect. Know that you are deserving of a happy life and believe it!

Stay Consistent

One thing that I know for sure is that I can never give up on improving the way that I want to live my life. Negative thoughts come and go and they only linger if you fuel that energy. Stop giving life to things that doesn’t make your life better! Dead it. Consistently putting in the work to defeat negativity and the pessimist views that it brings is going to require great discipline. Implement discipline and routine practice daily to stay focused and on track to meeting the goals that I want to meet and attain. In the beginning it may be rough, but you’ve got to see it through by staying consistent. PRO TIP: repetition is key.

I’m taking control over what consumes my mind and I encourage anyone else who hasn’t been in control of their thoughts to also do the same. I’m human, you’re human. Discipline yourself to stop and redirect negative energy. Continue to move forward even when you’re feeling like you’re not ready for the challenge. Stay consistent and develop a high level of focusing on what positively impacts your life.

Romantic Ideas for Date Night this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and you may be looking for some wonderful ideas on how to have a fantastic evening with your significant other (if you haven’t started getting ideas before now). Quality time with your partner is important to not only you but your partner as well. When you’re busy with your everyday lives, working and parenting, you deserve to love on each other in a way that means the most to you. If you are tired of the traditional flowers, candy, gifts, dinner and a movie–don’t worry! Romance can be a wide spectrum of how people find ways to express love and gratitude to those you love. Reminder: roses and chocolate ain’t for everybody! Here are ten creative ways to have a romantic and memorable experience with your partner that are guaranteed to be a fun night out!

Take a Paint and Sip Class

Photo Credit: Painting With a Twist

A good way to bond with your partner could be to take a painting class together. Sharing an evening of wine and art in a relaxed setting could offer a unique experience that you both would not forget. Most paint and sip classes are inexpensive and have been found to be very popular. Check locally for any studios that could be hosting a party near you. Note: Painting With a Twist has several locations throughout the U.S., see if there are any near you!

Themed Dinner and Movie at Home

Let’s face it, filling your belly up while watching a good flick always sound like a good idea. Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday this year, and after a long day at work, the two of you might not be feeling leaving the house or finding a babysitter to do anything. Watching a new or your favorite movie that the two of you picked out, paired with a home-cooked meal could be a fun way to talk to each other about the other’s day. Cooking together will allow the two of you to relax after a stressful day and focus on the things you love; the comfort of each other and your home.

Take a Couples Cooking Class

All of the restaurants can book up quickly on Valentine’s Day and it’s quite possible that you may be tired of having to choose from the same restaurants for reservations. A cooking class will give you the opportunity to learn how to make each other’s favorite meals! See if you’re able to sign up for a local cooking class that will either allow you to create your own menus or create full-course meals from a delectable menu prepared for you. Pricing on cooking classes is usually per couple, not individually, but it isn’t exactly the cheapest option on this list. It’s best to plan ahead if this is something that you know you and your partner would be in to doing.

Go to a Live Concert

Your favorite artist may have a show coming up near you. Fun fact: a few Valentine’s Day dates ago, my husband and I went a Jazmine Sullivan concert and had the time of our lives. Jazmine is a phenomenal singer that both of us enjoy listening to and it really created a memorable experience of a lifetime! We still talk about going to this concert to this very day. This also may be another option where you will need to plan in advance for, with having to purchase tickets. However, if you’re in to trying out your luck last minute, you never know what could happen. We actually got our concert tickets just days before the show.

Ice Cream Date

Who said that chocolate has to be the preferred sweet treat for Valentine’s Day? This can be a great idea to incorporate the kids and make it a “family date night”. Bring your loves to the nearest Marble Slab Creamery or Dippin’ Dots for a sweet inexpensive treat. I scream, you scream, everybody will scream for ice cream!

A Relaxing Day at the Spa

The two of you deserve a relaxing day, free of all of your day to day routine. It may be time to escape and what better way to do it than to visit the spa. Most spas have Valentine’s Day deals and packages that you can look into to take advantage of before it’s too late. Keep in mind that other couples may have this same idea in mind and you may need to schedule your appointments as soon as you know that you and your partner would like to make it a day of relaxation.

Book a Hotel Room for the Night

Can’t afford to take time off of work and/or get away for the weekend due to no one to watch the kids? Open up your browser tab and log in to your Expedia or Priceline to see what last minute, one night only deals you can find. This can also be a family date night idea! As much as you could use a break, the kids may enjoy this time away from home too.

Plan a Fun Date Night w/ Other Couples

A couples’ retreat with your friends could be fun. Whether it is a vacation that you guys decide to plan out together or a group outing in town, it will prove to be a fun, interactive way to hang out with your partner and friends!

Recreate Your First Date

This could be a super romantic gesture if you have a great memory. Plan to travel to all of the spots where you shared your firsts. Your first meals, your first kiss, the first time you bought each other something in the mall. If you’re creative enough, this might be the really emotional idea that could remind you of all the moments you’ve shared together.

Go Dancing!

Like to dance? Not just at the club! Learning how to salsa could be a fun experience. Go have some drinks together and find a local salsa, samba, or tango class you can sign up for and cut a rug! Taking a dancing class (whether you’re a great dancer or terrible dancer) is guaranteed to be a joyous time out of the house. You’ll be surprised at all the moves you and your partner will make.

Whatever you decide to do this Valentine’s Day, make sure your heart is in it. You don’t have to do any of the typical things that people normally do on this day. Your partner is with you because you make them feel like the happiest person alive! Any gesture from you will be one that they will embrace the most, regardless of whatever ideas you decide to come up with.

Black History: 5 Historical Places to Visit in Mississippi

It’s a celebration! February, Black History Month, is our annual celebration of achievements of African-American people and a time for recognizing our success, our central roles that have made a difference in the world, and an undying love and appreciation of our culture. African-American culture is both distinct and influential to the lifestyles of so many Americans. This year, I wanted to highlight some of the best places to visit in Mississippi for Black History month. All of the monumental places (mostly museums) can be found throughout North, Central, and Southern Mississippi. If you happen to be near any of the places highlighted, do yourself a favor and sign up to do a tour. There’s so much to be inspired by in the Magnolia State, and I am certain that you just might learn something.

African American Military History Museum

Photo Credit: African American Military History Museum

This museum opened in 1942, for African- American soldiers that were stationed at Camp Shelby. The African-American Military Museum is the only building remaining for African-American soldiers in the United States. The museum aims to educate the public about African-American contributions to the United States military. The museum can be found on 6th Street, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and offers free admission to guests that decide to visit the exhibits. Some of the exhibits that you can explore: Lobby Exhibits (Discover the history of the USO Club, from a WWII Recreation Building to Hattiesburg’s first African American Library and Community Center), Revolutionary War, The Founding of Hattiesburg, Buffalo Soldiers, World War I & II, Desegregation, and Desert Storm to name a few. To see how you can schedule your visit to the museum, go to their website to learn more about how you can tour the museum or make a a donation!

Delta Blues Museum

Photo Credit: Delta Blues Museum

The Delta Blues Museum is place to go to explore the history and heritage of the American musical art form of the blues. If you’re looking to find meaning, value, or perspective about the blues and its origin, this museum is located in Clarksdale, Mississippi (better known as “the crossroads” of interstate sections HWY 61 and HWY 49). Established in 1979, this museum has been dedicated to the mission of preserving the story of the blues, as many of the legendary blues musical artists are born in or around Clarksdale, MS (Muddy Waters, Ike Turner, Sam Cooke). This month the museum has several historical exhibits that include: Ike Turner and Rocket 88, Panny Mayfield: Live from the Mississippi Delta, Don Nix: Memphis Man Living High, Laying Low, Blue Portraits in Steel. For those looking to purchase tickets to tour The Delta Blues Museum, General Admission is $10. Check out their website to download museum brochures, make a donation, learn more about pricing, and how to purchase your tickets.

The Grammy Museum

Photo Credit: The Grammy Museum Mississippi

The Grammy family is in Mississippi! The Recording Academy Grammy Museum provides unique learning opportunities about the entire creative and technological processes of Mississippi recording artists. The Grammy Museum, located in Cleveland, Mississippi, is an interactive celebration of the power of music. In 2011, the 28,000 square foot museum was built on the campus of Delta State University, and has provided inspirational and educational public programs featuring exhibits, film, lectures, and intimate performances. This month the museum features the celebration of Jermaine Dupri, 25 Years of Jermaine Dupri and SoSoDef. Exhibit highlights include: lyric and concept books from Kris Kross, performance wardrobes for So So Def artists, the original beat machine that Jermaine Dupri used to make his earlier productions and more. To find out how you can tour this exhibit before it leaves, go to The Grammy Museum’s website to get touring information.

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Photo Credit: Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

According to their website, The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum shares the stories of a Mississippi movement that changed the nation. The museum promotes a greater understanding of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and its impact by highlighting the strength and sacrifices of its people. Visitors will witness the freedom struggle in eight interactive galleries that show the systematic oppression of black Mississippians and their fight for equality that transformed the state and nation. The museum has eight interactive exhibits that include: Mississippi Freedom Struggle, Mississippi in Black and White, This Little Light of Mine (a soaring space filled with natural light from large windows), A Closed Society, A Tremor in the Iceberg, I Question America, Black Empowerment, and Where Do We Go From Here? Be sure to check out the website as it also lists special events happening throughout Black History Month. General Admission is $10 for adults and as of 2020, the museum now offers audio tours! This one I highly recommend to experience.

Mary O’Keefe Cultural Center

If you’re not going to be in any of the North or Central Mississippi locations this month, the Gulf Coast will have Black History events and programs throughout the month. The Mary O’Keefe Cultural Center (Ocean Springs, Mississippi) will be hosting events February 7th, 15th, and 28th for local black artists and businesses. Two of the events have free admission, and if you’re going to check out the live performances event, admission is only $5. If you are an artist or business owner, you’ll get the chance to showcase your talents and promote your brand. Check out the website for additional information.

7 People to Watch on YouTube

YouTube is a place where creativity is so unique and individualistic. Creatives from literally all over the world can upload whatever video content they’ve created for a targeted audience and garner lots of views. Hundreds, thousands, millions of views. Oh, and if you’re really doing well over in YouTube Land, you can monetize off of that same media content you’ve uploaded. Brand partnerships arise and you’ve got paid ads sponsored on your channel. That’s awesome! Way to create!


Whenever I am browsing YouTube, I’m always looking for content that’s “different”. YouTube has been pretty accessible for over a decade now and I’ve seen just about any and every thing that you could imagine. I like to find inspiration to keep MY creativity going. I’ve mentioned in a previous blog how you can feel like things may be… oversaturated. These seven YouTube channels have inspired me to spark my creativity light bulb in their own respective ways, in some capacity. If you are yearning for new people to watch/ subscribe to, they are certainly worth the streaming views!


TYMETHEINFAMOUS

TymeTheInfamous (better known as Tyme) has been someone that I’ve been subscribed to since 2011 or 2012. She’s a beauty vlogger that has created and recreated a lot of my favorite “how to” makeup/hair content. Tyme started out doing freelance make-up prior to soaring on YouTube and now creates your favorite make-up tutorials, unboxing/ product reviews, giveaways/hauls, DIY nail tutorials. She’s amazing and she is all about working with a budget, too. A combination of things that all ladies love.

ELLE MAGAZINE

Okay! So, I only follow Elle for one reason: Song Association. I love it! Song Association is a series on their channel where special guests are given ten seconds and a word. They must sing a song with the word provided (in ten seconds or less) and the guest must either include the word in the song title or know the title of the song and artist. I like watching this so much because it’s two of my favorite things: music and creativity. I am always intrigued to see what songs end up coming to mind for the special guests. It’s super fun! Play along with the rest of us if you happen to watch an episode!

WILL SMITH

Duh, it’s Will Smith! I’ve been a true fan since The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (just like the rest of us) but right when I thought my fandom couldn’t peak anymore, he made himself accessible on social media! What I love about Will’s channel (really, his social media period) is how creative he gets with his content. He’s actually been to YouTube University to learn how to create. Every thing about his YouTube channel could be beneficial to any one with the same passion as the rest of the creatives. Editing, video quality, the content itself. Oh, and by the way, he drops a gem every episode he puts out. You’re welcome.

NAPTURAL85

Naptural (Whitney) is everyone’s favorite natural hair maven! This is another channel that I’ve been following for a while, since my big chop back in 2014. I want to credit her as one of the people that inspired me to go ahead with the big chop (I tried transitioning prior to chopping). Whitney has hundreds of DIY hairstyles for any natural texture/ curl pattern. She is also great about including hair care maintenance videos and she’s also great with working with a budget. If you’re into health/ beauty vloggers, please subscribe to Whitney’s channel. She does not miss!

ALIYA JANELL

Aliya may be the newest person that I’m subscribed to on YouTube, but you’ll soon understand why. Some of you may follow her on Instagram already, or seen some of her dance clips floating around Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Aliya is a dance choreographer that comes up with sultry, sexy dance routines… in heels! She’s choreographed for Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Tank, and Trey Songz (to name a few). She’s built her online content just from streaming her class (Queen ‘N Lettos) live on Instagram. I love that the routines that she creates always are meant for dancers to be inspired, love the routine and make it their own, and feel confident while doing it. Watch a video and I guarantee you might try to pick up some moves.

KANDI BURRUSS

Kandi knows the secrets to get to the coins! Kandi Burruss is someone to follow from an inspiration/motivation standpoint when it comes to business. I’m definitely a fan of Real Housewives of Atlanta, but aside from that, I have always been inspired by her business mindset. Her YouTube channel focuses on her reality (family, business, relationships, things that she’s spoken about on RHOA) and it’s great to have! She even says it in one of her soundbites that “she can turn a shade tree, into a money tree”.

TSMADISON HINTON

It’s the Queen’s Supreme Court! My final channel that I am subscribed to is TS Madison aka “The Queens Supreme Court”. This is to balance out all that inspiration with some laughter and comedy. I’ve actually been a fan of this show when it was TS and Khia, but things work out for a reason. It’s moved on without one of the original hosts and the other host made it even better! When you need something just watch on a quiet evening and nothing’s on tv, turn on TS Madison’s Supreme Court show. It’s aired live every week and of course if you miss it, the video is uploaded to her channel within minutes.

The Self-Care Routine: Practices that I Follow

All of my recent thoughts and feelings have been centered and geared towards taking care of myself. I am sharing some of the best practices that I use whenever I feel the need to take a moment for– me.

It’s almost like I’ve discovered a hidden message all within my mind, body, and soul, and I’m finally finding the courage to crack the codes. Yes, I’ve mentioned before that I am a full-time working wife and mother of one. Of course my life is hectic! Most often, there’s too much on my plate (even though I’m passionate about EVERY thing on my plate). What am I doing? I’m sitting at a table trying to finish all of my food, but truth is, I’ve been overwhelmed and full a long time ago. Whenever I get like this (and I’m sure I’m not the only person that does this), I have to remember to get up and go relax. To lower my risks of burn out, anxiety, and depression, I try to engage in things that I enjoy to rekindle the balance in my life.

Prayer

It may sound cliche to those who don’t believe in a higher being, but for me, it has been an essential tool in retraining my mind to think positively and helping to restore my faith. After I’ve prayed, the amount of weight that feels as if it has been lifted is quite freeing. God takes it over from there and I remember to give him the praise!

Meditation

You’ve definitely heard me discussing meditation and some of it’s benefits on previous blog posts and might have even seen me discussing it on any of my social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). This really does help to clear my mind to focus clearer– with deep breaths in and out.

Massage

Routine massage is something to indulge in for self-care. I don’t make a habit of doing this every week (it’s not exactly cheap), but it’s worth it to do it every 4-6 weeks. I was a non-believer of massages until I actually started to get them as often as I do. If you’ve never had one before, I implore you try it out. PRO TIP: if the area that you’re experiencing your pain is within your reach, try self-massage as well.

Stretch.

Now listen. I don’t exercise every day, which is something I’m working on adding to my growing list of self-care practices. Since I am not exercising every day, my muscles are always tight. As a substitution for now, I do stretch every day and/or every other day. I do a combination of upper and lower body stretch exercises to release tightness. PRO TIP: Deep breaths while stretching help to break up tension tremendously.

Write

Writing is therapeutic to thoughtful expression. Sometimes, the words we speak don’t come out the way I’d like for them to. I can write them better than I can speak them. Keep a journal when you are having good/bad days, when you come up with creative ideas, or maybe if you just need to vent. You don’t have to be a blogger to do this.

Music

One of the freest forms of expression and what I’d consider my “musical therapy”. Escaping my thoughts to listen to my favorite tunes is probably one of my most favorite things to do on this list. I find myself a good playlist or a favorite album that I enjoy, and just vibe out. It helps to forget about the things that have me overwhelmed temporarily, so much so that the feeling of being overwhelmed becomes obsolete.

These aren’t the only things that I do for self-care, there’s several others that I could add to the list. No, I don’t practice them all at the same time. I also don’t feel that I need to self-care every day, but I do practice one of these routines at couple of times of the week. It’s good to remember: yourself. Don’t get so lost in your daily routine that you forget about the most important thing. YOU.

3 Books Recommended for Self-Improvement

It’s a new year so you know what that means, new goals and challenges. At the end of the last year/ decade, I decided that I was going to start spending more time taking care of myself. The routines and habits that I have grown accustomed to– I’m over. BORING! OVERWHELMING! It’s as simple as this: I need to get back to enjoying life. After some major life changing events (marriage + parenting), I quit doing a lot of the things that I would typically enjoy. So for 2020, I’ve decided to go back to reading as one of the many steps towards my self-care journey. I’ve found three books that are going to help retrain my mind and thought processes on how to live a meaningful and happy life again.

Since I am a very busy lady, I really don’t have much time to just sit in a quiet room or corner, curled up with a book. I’ve heard some really great things about Audible (powered by Amazon), a digital audiobook reader. You can listen to your favorite books through your app that you have on your smart device & Audible is giving you the a free 30-day trial, plus your first audiobook for free! This was the easiest route for me and obviously a no-brainer. Parents, we read bedtime stories every night. Let’s allow someone else to do the reading for us. HA!

Manual for Living, by Epictetus, is the first book on the list. This book helps readers to see that some things are in your power and some are not, and to stop confusing the two. Our opinions of things determine how we feel about a particular event, not the event itself. The manual also wants us to challenge ourselves to think carefully about how we decide to spend our lives. People often spend their lives chasing things that are neither desirable or as important as they seem. People also spend time desiring things that are not in their power. If this book describes you in any way, this will be a great read for you.

Second on the list, The Practicing Mind, takes readers on a path of developing focus and discipline in their lives. For those of us who like (or dislike) acquiring new skills or facing dreadful challenges that we hope to overcome, patience/focus/discipline are the traits that seem very difficult to maintain. The author, Thomas Sterner, will demonstrate how to learn skills for any aspect in life (from business to love) by learning to love the process. This is key for people who are in the business of practicing instant gratification. Remember: if at first you don’t succeed, try again!

The third, and final book on the list, is 10% Happier (written by Dan Harris). 10% Happier is about the discovery of meditation. The author depicts his personal journey and how he began to self-help through meditation. The book tells readers about practicing mindfulness and meditation, and allows readers to relate even more by discussing the skepticism behind it. I’m certain there’s even a few readers today that are skeptical about meditation, but I implore you to give it a try. I meditate regularly and the book and myself are here to tell you that… it works! If you believe.


If you’re wondering, I haven’t completed all of the books yet, but I have started reading. Hopefully, with the help of Audible, I can complete these a bit faster than the time that it would normally take a busy person to read a book. If you are on a self-care journey, incorporate these books into your plan. Self-care has to start with you. Please share any other books that you’ve read or plan on reading for self-improvement by leaving a comment below. Let’s improve the qualities of our lives together!

My Favorite Things in Life

People always seem to make a list of the things that they despise or dislike more than they seem to talk about the things that make them happy! We spend so much time focused on the things that we wish to change, without reflecting on what we love the most. The things that we love the most are what keeps us inspired and should help us to see that the things we dislike are minimal compared to the things that bring us joy. I created a list of ten things that make my life golden.

#1. LOVE

I am blessed to have a loving family that is always there for me, in times of need. I can turn to my husband and son, who are always waiting for me daily to shower me with love. My parents, grandparents are always just one phone call away, should I ever need any thing. I have a close circle of friends that I can confide my securities and insecurities in, without any judgement. It’s a beautiful feeling.

#2. APPLE PRODUCTS

I love, love technology. I love it ten times more if it’s a product of Apple. I cannot function without my iPhone X, iPad, or Apple Watch. My life is in its hand. Literally. Every thing that I could ever need is right there on my device. It never lets me down and if there ever comes a day when it does, I will not be a happy camper.

#3. BEYONCE

Giselle. Knowles- Carter. There’s not any thing I think she could do to not make me happy, at this point. There’s a song for any and every mood I am in, I aspire to achieve my goals as if I were Beyonce, herself. I’m sure there’s a possibility to some that she may can do wrong, but tell it to any one other than me.

#4. MUSIC

Music has always been my preferred method of expression. Although I am no singer, I love how so many different artists can find very different ways to express their feelings and thoughts. No matter the artist, there is always a song to fit the mood. Just turn on the good tunes, and I am happy.

#5. DOCUMENTARIES & AUTOBIOGRAPHIES

I love a good story! Learning about topics and/or people that I have been intrigued by is fun. There’s great gems in documentaries and autobiographies. It helps the person seem relatable to the audience & captures you in a way that can be entertaining. All I need with this is good cuisine and a bed, for afterwards.

#6. COMEDY

Admittedly, this is how I sometimes deflect, however laughter is great for the soul. I find the humor in a lot of things, even if it isn’t funny in the present moment. Inserting a joke to lighten the mood or build rapport is my go-to thing. I also love when others can be witty, it makes for good dialogue and conversation. I love when there’s a good comedy special on Netflix, too. In the words of the Joker, “why so serious?”. Live a little, laugh a little.

#7 CREATING/ CRAFTING

Making things makes me happy! It’s therapeutic and I love to see the entire process, from beginning to end. Art is beautiful and even more beautiful when it’s something that YOU’VE created. Creating gives me great pride. Execution and following through is all that is needed in this one.

#8. SHOPPING

I mean, there’s not a list that is complete without this one. This isn’t a hidden fact. Most, if not all, women love to shop. This is also another form of therapy for yourself. Once upon a time, it used to be just shopping for myself. Now, I love shopping for my house, my kid, my husband. The rarity in which I do spend on myself, I spend it on the next item on this list.

#9. MAKEUP

The beauty enhancer. Yes, I love a good bare face as well. However, makeup is fun! I can’t tell you how many times I get giddy over a new eye shadow palette, lipstick, or a good foundation. Learning different ways to apply is also fun! There’s thousands of YouTube videos these days from every woman that has found a way to apply makeup that may be beneficial to me.

10. MY BILLS BEING PAID

Finances are the biggest headache for most of us. The joy of truly enjoying life with all your bills being paid, nothing past due, is a beauty. Sometimes, it feels weird when you have something extra left. You’re checking to make sure you didn’t miss a bill. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted! All for them to come back around, in thirty days. Wild!


I can’t believe that I have ten things that are currently making me happy. There are times that I often look at the glass being half empty, not half full. I’m glad that I decided to do this post because it made me realize that I am a lot happier than I thought I was and I should stop focusing on the things that don’t make me happy. Yes, that list may be longer, but this list is better. It’s positive and not negative. Maybe I can continue to add to the list in the future.

What are ten things that make you feel happy all the time? Let me know in the comments!