Today's the day! Two years ago, I exchanged "I Do's" with the love of my life. It really has been a quick two years, but I feel like I've learned so much from them. So, in celebration of my two-year wedding anniversary, I wanted to share a few things I've learned. They aren't ground-breaking by any means!
I also want to show you how we celebrated this past weekend!
1. YOU'RE GOING TO FIGHT, AND THAT'S OK
Either way, arguing can actually build up your relationship. DO NOT go tell your partner I wanted you guys to get in a fight. No! Avoid it if you can. But if it leads to an improvement in your relationship, a few hours of talking and a few tears aren't bad!
2. YOUR MAMA DIDN'T RAISE YOUR PARTNER
3. GET A HOBBY TO STOP DRIVING EACH OTHER CRAZY
4. SUPPORT IS CRUCIAL FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE
5. YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM CAN HURT YOUR PARTNER
6. BE BEST FRIENDS FIRST
HOW WE CELEBRATED
On Friday, I got off of work early. He didn't have to work. We went to Downtown Fayetteville, N.C. and visited Circa 1800 for lunch. He got a chicken sandwich topped with bacon and pulled pork, and I got a blackened chicken wrap! Afterward, we went next door to the new Caruso's Confections for a piece of three-layer chocolate mousse cake.
On Saturday, we had brunch at Metro Diner in Fayetteville, N.C. before heading up to Raleigh for an improv comedy show with ComedyWorks. We also visited our friend Lauren and her husband Aaron for a bit before heading home.
Since tonight is our official anniversary, we have a small chocolate cake to enjoy with one another!
Now more than ever, families and friends are torn apart by differing beliefs, be them political, religious, or ideological.
For some people, their beliefs did more than ruin familial relationships. Some paid with their jobs, their freedom, or even their lives. Keep reading to check out a is list of five (or more) people who were punished to the max for their beliefs.
1. NELSON MANDELA
2. AUNG SAN SUU KYI
3. DALTON TRUMBO
By 1947, the U.S. government had formed the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which quizzed members of the film industry about their ties to the communist party. Some refused to answer, including Trumbo. They became the Hollywood 10. After serving time in prison for contempt, Trumbo and the others were blacklisted. He wrote under pseudonyms and the names of fellow writer friends. He wasn't recognized for his work until a few years before he died.
Best way to learn more: See Trumbo at the Cape Fear Regional Theatre from now until March 17. Purchase your tickets online at CFRT.org!
4. MOST PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
- Rosa Parks (Pictured): Refused to give up her seat to a white woman on a bus. Was threatned with violence.
- Rev. George Lee: One of the first African American to register to vote in Humphreys County. He used his platform at church to encourage his congregation to register to vote. White officials of the time offered him protection if he stopped his campaigning, but he declined the offer and was killed.
- Viola Gregg Liuzzo: A white woman who was transporting marchers from different parts of Alabama to join the now-famous Selma marches. She was shot and killed by a Klansman in a passing car.
5. JESUS AND HIS APOSTLES
- Peter: crucified upside down at his request because he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Christ.
- Paul: Beheaded.
- Andrew: Crucified.
- Stephen: Stoned to death.
- Thomas: Speared by four soldiers.
- Matthias: Burned alive.
-Matthew: Stabbed to death in Ethiopia.
- James: Clubbed to death.
Best way to learn more: Passion of the Christ movie.
Happy International Women’s Day! I wanted to take today’s blog post and make it all about some of the women of the world who are my inspirations. This isn’t my idea. I actually saw this on a recent blog post I read and commented on, and also on a post from Marie Claire magazine.
Please go check out the original post from Hannah Mary! She posted about her most inspirational women television characters. Check it out here: https://hanmwill.com/inspiring-women-tv-edition.
Today, I want to focus on some of the women who inspire me, real or fictional, from the last 100 years.
1910 - WINIFRED BANKS, FICTIONAL CHARACTER
1920 – HELEN KELLER, DISABILITY ACTIVIST
1930 – ZORA NEALE HURSTON, WRITER
1940 – ANNE FRANK & MIEP GIES, WWII ICONS
1950 - ROSA PARKS, CIVIL RIGHTS ICON
1960 – SKEETER PHELAN, FICTIONAL CHARACTER
1970 – GLORIA STEINEM, JOURNALIST
1980 – MATILDA, FICTIONAL CHARACTER
1990 - SELENA QUINTANILLA, SINGER/WRITER
2000 – J.K ROWLING, AUTHOR
PRESENT - SUSAN ISAAC, MOTHER
LEGAL: All images were taken from Google's "Free to use or share, even commercially," filter. The last picture is one of my mother, which she does not mind me using. The first picture is taken from Giphy.
It seems like it's been a while since I've made a post on my favorite things. February has been such a busy month for me, both professionally and personally. But at the risk of babbling on about random things, let's get into this favorites post:
STRAWBERRY GUAVA DIET COKE | $3.50/8 CT.
ILLUMINATOR/HIGHLIGHTER | $8.99
THESE CUPS | $5 EACH
DOVE OXYGEN MOISTURE CONDITIONER | $3.98
POP-UP PHOTO CUBE | $14.89
WUNDERLIST APP | FREE
FAVORITE YOUTUBER | SAFIYA NYGAARD
I think Safiya's videos popped up in my recommended, and I decided to check out her channel. I got so addicted. I think it's because she reminds me a lot of my college roommate, Emory.
Safiye is quirky and funny, and you'll love watching her do various lifestyle and fashion videos with her now fiancé Tyler. Check out her channel and let her know I sent you!
“I remember a lot about that day,” she said, answering the interviewer.
Personally, I felt out of place. I was standing on the outskirts of a small but crowded room, watching intently as reporters quizzed Ruby Bridges, the now 65-year-old who was the first African-American child to be integrated into William Frantz, an all-white elementary school in Louisiana.
“I believe that I was protected, and a lot of what protected me was my innocence. I actually thought it was Mardi Gras,” said the Louisiana native.
Bridges learned within minutes that the large and angry crowd screaming outside of her new school wasn’t celebrating, but were protesting her, a then six-year-old girl with a vivid imagination and innocence..
After her interview with the press during the speaking event, which was held at Methodist University where I work in the marketing and university relations department, Bridges was filed into the auditorium. Myself and my coworkers made our way to the front row, eagerly waiting to hear her speak again. After a formal introduction, Bridges stood behind the pulpit, preaching a familiar story, but with far more detail than I could have imagined.
RUBY BRIDGES’ BRAVE JOURNEY
Although her father fought side by side with white men during the war, often sharing foxholes and the possibility of being killed during combat, he was still made to go to separate bunks and eat in separate mess halls. He was pretty against her attending an all-white school at first, but he gave in and allowed her to take a special test that would decide which African-American students were “worthy” of attending school with white children.
The test was hard. It was made that way purposefully to try and guarantee that no African-American child could make it to the classroom. However, six students passed the rigged test.
“I take pleasure in saying all six were girls,” Bridges jested.
Bridges was set to be one of three of the girls integrated into William Frantz Elementary School, while the other three were set to integrate into another all-white school in the area. However, Bridges’ parents were faced with a difficult decision when the two children who were to attend the school with Bridges decided to drop out of the integration program.
Even though Ruby wasn't able to go to school with other African-American children, she recalled that she was surrounded by men and women from her neighborhood who wanted to see her off to school.
“I remember all of my mother’s friends coming over saying ‘we are going to help her get dressed this morning,’” she recalled.
When they arrived to the school, scores of people were there, holding picket signs, throwing things, and shouting racial slurs. One woman even had a small African-American doll resting in a baby casket. But with clear instructions from her escorts, Ruby marched into school and into the principal's office, where she sat all day waiting to be put into a classroom.
But no teacher would take her. When Barbara Henry decided to add Ruby to her classroom roster, parents pulled their white children from school. For a full year, Ruby sat in a classroom with her teacher, learning and growing every day.
WHAT BRIDGES TAUGHT ME
She didn’t care what the person who stayed with her son until she could get there looked like. All that mattered was that she got to spend some time with him before he passed.
“Racism is just one tool that is used to divide us,” she said. “We need to take back this nation, but it’s evil we need to take it back from.”
As one-half of an interracial couple, and someone who met their other half in college, I was happy and humbled to learn the true bravery of not only Ruby, but also her mother and father and those other girls who integrated into a separate all-white school. When watching clips from movies that retell Ruby's story, I find myself overwhelmed in trying to put myself in their shoes.
Without the strides made in the civil rights movement by African-Americans and others who supported change, I wouldn't have met my husband. I wouldn't be married to the love of my life. He might not even exist, because he is a product of an interracial marriage. I am eternally grateful to no longer live in a world where we are separate, but I'm blessed and honored to live in a world where we can be joined together as one in marriage.
But one thing is clear: we are still yet to be fully integrated. There are still many all-white schools, and there are many schools that are majority African-American. We should work to make sure that every child knows that they are equal to the next. They should all get equal access to education and should never, regardless of income, race, or the neighborhood they live in, be excluded from a school.
By integrating our schools more thoroughly, we are forging a bright future that is culturally and historically aware of the social issues facing minorities in the United States. This is the best way to ensure that the cruel and ugly past doesn't continue to repeat itself.
Oh my! It's now 2019 and its time for yet another favorites post. I've had such a great month, mainly because I've gotten to try a number of things I was gifted for Christmas. Without further ado, let's get into today's favorites post!
JEFFREE STAR VELOUR LIP SCRUB | $12
JEFFREE STAR VELOR LIQUID LIPSTICK | $18
MORPHIE M143 LARGE FAN BRUSH | $7
AMAZON ECHO DOT | $30
TANTAN SMART PLUGS, 2-PACK | $19
MY FAVORITE YOUTUBE CHANNEL | THE INGHAM FAMILY
MY FAVORITE MOVIE | AQUAMAN
I'm not going to lie. Between my personal and professional life, I've had a good bit of disappointments, especially in the last year.
However, I've learned that there ways to deal with that disappointment that will help preserve the relationships you have now and help you create new, meaningful relationships while in the midst of disappointment.
I do want to point out that I am not a therapist or a relationship counselor, but I do have the experience of being the giver and receiver of these things, and the following solutions really seem to help me in particular:
KEEP IT OFF SOCIAL MEDIA
Resist the urge to vent and complain about someone on your social media. Instead, try to reach out to a few trusted individuals in your life who you feel you can vent to. There are also a ton of free programs and chat rooms filled with anonymous strangers you can rant to. For me, I like to talk to my mom, husband, and really close friends about the stress in my life. It keeps me sane.
TAKE SOME TIME TO DECOMPRESS
Go to a movie, head to the park, or try a new hobby. Take yourself away from the disappointment to give yourself time to recover and to think on how you should go about addressing the problem.
MAKE A LIST/TRY TO SOLVE THE ISSUE
If it has to do with your disappointment in your personal life, take a moment to think about what you can do better. The sad truth is that we can't change anyone and we can't make them be something or someone they aren't. What we can change is how we react to disappointment.
I really hope that these tips on dealing with disappointment will help you down the line. I know that, for me, they have helped to save and repair relationships that would otherwise have no chance! Sometimes, you have to change your reaction.
If that person that is disappointing you continues, however, it can be a cycle of abuse that you need to go ahead and break and leave behind you.
When I was growing up, my mom and grandparents used to buy our house a gift. It was normally new pots and pans for the kitchen or a vacuum cleaner for the carpets. I decided this year to carry this tradition over and purchase our home an Amazon Echo Dot.
Ever since setting it up, I have purchased some items to go with it that have made my life so much easier! Keep reading to learn more about how the Echo Dot can improve your day-to-day life.
STRETCHING YOUR BRAIN
I now load up the machine with coffee grinds and water the night before. When I wake up, I simply say "Alexa, turn on the coffee machine." She turns it on for me and it can make itself while I get ready for the day. After that, I just have to add in my sugar and creamer and I'm on my way out the door!
PRO-TIP: You don't have to spend a ton of money on Amazon products. Check on Amazon to see if the plug, smartbulb, or smart TV is compatible with Alexa!
GET NEWS FAST
WEATHER FORECAST READER
*THIS POST IS NOT SPONSORED IN ANY WAY BY AMAZON!
DAY 1: MOVING BACKWARD IS NOT AN OPTION, AND STANDING STILL IS NOT ENOUGH
The first day of TED Talks featured Stacey Abrams, the first black woman in the history of the U.S. to be nominated for governor by a major party. Although Abrams lost the race, her TED Talk showed me that her loss didn’t kill her drive or spirit.
Her reasoning for wanting to become governor of Georgia was delivered through an anecdote, which I don’t want to spoil in case you decide to watch! She revealed that she lost the race for governor and was sad for a while, but she decided to keep pushing forward.
When she said “moving backward is not an option and standing still is not enough, I knew that was going to be what I took away from her talk. But how do you move forward after a loss? Abrams explained it was to ask yourself “what do I want, why do I want it, and how do I get it?”
They are simple questions. Going back to the why will fuel you to push for your how.
DAY 2: THE WORLD NEEDS TO EXPAND ITS RADIUS, BUT THAT IS MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE
Today's speaker was meteorologist J. Marshall Shepherd. He talks about the different biases that can effect the way we see the world.
Not unsurprisingly, Shepherd decided to focus most of his talk on the bias many people have on issues such as climate change. He explained that there are three types of biases that you may engage in when you come across dealing with an issue you have an inherent bias toward: confirmation bias (only finding evidence to support your existing belief), Dunning Kruger (believing you know more than you do about a topic), and cognitive dissonance (new info that contradicts our beliefs).
I for one believe that our climate is changing for the worse. However, there are plenty who believe differently. While I agree with Shepherd's premise, I found his speech wanting because he identified a serious problem without presenting a solution. In actuality, overcoming our biases, at least in America, will be next to impossible because we let it get so far before addressing the real problem.
Shepherd did say we should expand our radius, or knowledge, about science and other things. I also found this hard to digest because several things we used to observe as fact (like the age of the universe, medicines, and carbon dating) have since changed. We all need to think critically. That was my main take-away.
DAY 3: PROCRASTINATION EXISTS BEYOND DUE DATES
The speaker for this day is Tim Urban, a writer and illustrator for the website WaitButWhy.com.
Urban spent a lot of his time on the TED stage talking about his personal experience as a master procrastinator, reminiscing anecdotally on completing his 90-page thesis in 72 hours. He explained how the mind of the procrastinator works, saying that both the procrastinator and the non-procrastinator have decision makers, but the procrastinator has an "instant gratification monkey" who is all about fun and joy.
But Urban eventually got to a point where he talked about the dangers of procrastinating on things without deadlines. Things like relationships, pursing education, health, and others. We may seem like we have all the time in the world to meet these deadlines, but we don't, and they can catch up with us and ruin our lives.
I loved how Urban took a rather serious topic and put a funny spin on it!
DAY 4: LYING IS A COOPERATIVE ACT
Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, was today's speaker. Her book details a few was to spot a liar and teaches you how to protect yourself from that liar.
What I learned in this TED Talk was that lying is much more common than I thought, but we are much more to blame than I thought, as well. The signs of a liar are so telling that we are complicient in the lie. The fact that we can let someone get away with a lie is crazy!
I really did learn a lot about spotting lies and hope to change my position in the lie from a cooperative of it to a spotter of it. I think I might actually add Meyer's book to my Audible Wish List!
DAY 5: DON'T LET PAST REJECTION DICTATE FUTURE ASPIRATIONS
The speaker for today was Jia Jiang. He was a marketing executive for a Fortune 500 company and he started his own business when he was 30. He explains that he was long controlled by rejection he experienced as a child when no one in his class complemented him during a confidence-building exercise. He said that his childhood experience kept him from pursuing his dreams for fear of rejection.
Jiang decided to do a 100 days of rejection challenge where he decided to ask strangers for things that they would likely reject him for. His talk really taught me that the past is in the past and being rejected once doesn't mean I will always be rejected!
As I sat in the ballroom, my eyes heavy with sleep after waking up at 5 a.m. to ride almost two hours to a conference at High Point University in North Carolina, I wasn't expecting to learn much in the first hour or so.
Usually conferences like these start out with some mild life lessons many people have already learned, as well as a few announcements before we break off into small groups. I wasn't expecting to go to this conference to have myself challenged personally, but that's exactly what happened.
I have to say that I learned far more in that hour than I think I learned the entire day, which made it the best way to start my day. I want to share with you a few things that I learned, because they really sparked a change in me.
A FOOL SAYS, "I'LL DO MORE WHEN THEY PAY ME TO DO MORE"
CONFIDENCE COMES FROM COMPETENCE
There is truth to the saying "knowledge is power." When you know more, you can speak more confidently. You will have an air about you that will make people stop and wonder what got in to you. That's how I want people to look at me, and that is actually how many people want others to look at them.
SMALL STEPS MAKE BIG DIFFERENCES
NEVER SAY "I'M NOT CHANGING THE WORLD"
They have names of people and experiences lodged in their brains that helped them form in to who they have become. I bet you could ask anyone you know about their favorite teacher, and they could rattle off some touching and inspiring story on what their teacher said to them that changed their life.
You never know if you're communicating with the future president or some other person who will have great power and influence who can make that direct impact on the world. But it is your tutelage and your experience with them that may be a guiding force in making that decision.