âA few weeks ago, I woke up to a familiar nervousness that I had felt the year before around this time. As I woke up, I put on a nice outfit for work. I stopped for a splash of caffeine (and by that, I mean the Venti) at Starbucks on the way in.
I was in for a long morning of running around feeling a mix of franticness and nervousness. I was about to be face to face with the son of an American hero: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. âHis eldest son, Martin Luther King III, came to the University to speak at our annual spring convocation, which is always dedicated to Black History Month. If youâve been here a while, youâd know that I met Ruby Bridges last year.
âAs an adult, King is living out the legacy of his father by acting as the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and by giving nonviolence training to various groups in the U.S. and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, India, Israel and Palestine, Kenya, and Sri Lanka.
âIt was awe-inspiring to meet King in person. Growing up, Iâd seen photos of his father circulating everywhere. When I saw him in person, it was like seeing what MLK Jr. would have looked like if his life wasnât tragically ripped away from him.
Today, I wanted to share a bit about what I learned from King, and some of the things he said that really stuck with me:
1: GET INVOLVED
I was really involved in the community and on my campus while in college due to my involvement in a number of community service-minded organizations. I lost that after graduation and was content with doing nothing.
However, this opportunity, and things happening at my church, have taught me that being involved is important. God wouldnât want me to stand idly by while help was needed.
2: REFUSE TO LEAVE THE WORLD UNTIL YOUâVE DONE SOMETHING GOODâ
3: INACTION IS PART OF THE PROBLEM
âWhen that happened, I called it out. I called the store after we left and told them what happened. They said they were going to speak with the woman. But I came to realize that I would be more than passionate if something bad had happened to my husband or his family members, especially if evidence pointed to the fact that it was only happening because their skin color is different to mine.
In truth, it is really hard for any of us to know what life is like in the shoes of another person. It is best to see what we can do to help, knowing that racism is absolutely wrong in the site of God and most people in the world today.
âI could probably write on this subject forever, but I was just so honored to meet them. For those that knew me before a few years ago, they likely see the photo I posted with him and roll their eyes. They only remember the times where I argued with them about a police shooting (which I would mostly retract today) and they find it hard to believe that life and God changed me.
I took photos with Bridges and King. I may have been a little struck by who they were, but what mattered to me was what they said and how they communicated it. And, how in a world filled with divisions, they still preach unity and peace.
As a freelance writer, radio voiceover artist, photographer, and graphic designer, I can say that there is always someone, either a client or even a friend or family member, who ends up saying something that is offensive to the freelancing professional.
In today’s article, I figured I would share some of these. If you’re a freelancer, I hope you can relate. If you’re not, please read these four points and try to avoid making these mistakes with your freelancer when you hire one.
1. NOT WANTING TO PAY FOR SERVICES/PRODUCTS
However, nothing is more frustrating as a freelancer when you get an invitation and someone was only inviting you to take photos for them. The best thing a friend or family member can do for a freelancer is support them.
Clients should never ask for discounts on work, especially if they don’t have a good working relationship established with the freelancer. When a client asks for a discount, even though they may just be trying to save some money in their budget, it comes off as devaluing my work as a freelancer! Also, please don’t tell me “you would be supporting my start-up” or “it is an event for charity,” especially if I know nothing about the charity.
I say this because I work on a website for freelancing and have gotten messages like these from total strangers. This isn’t Becky from the Kiwanis club asking for help, this is someone from halfway around the world who could simply be scamming me.
2. TRYING TO CORRECT ME ON SOMETHING THAT ISN'T INCORRECT
“Grapes, bread, and milk are all great items to keep in your fridge.”
The person told me I should have used “is” instead of “are.” They said that they would make the correction, so I did not fight them on it. It just never makes sense to me when people pay for a service, but then want to question stuff like this!
3. NOT BEING CLEAR OR PROVIDING LITTLE INFORMATION
I was under the impression from their messages that they hosted a blog that gave brides-to-be some ideas for their big day. When I turned in one of their articles, they asked me where the “call to action” was.
4. GETTING ANGRY AND LASHING OUT WHEN WE STAND UP FOR OURSELVES
I put my foot down. He actually went out of his way to contact the support team to change his rating on an order he had rated me 5-stars on because I stood up for myself and refused to continue to re-write his orders for him. I launched some pretty harsh emails at the support team for allowing him to do it, but they did not care. They cared more about getting their commission from my sales.
But seriously, don’t do this. It is super unprofessional. Freelancers work for themselves and their clients. They don’t have to put up with your BS!
Now that Christmas has passed, many of us only have a few more days before we have to be back at work for the start of the year. Some of you may already have been to work!
I work in education, so we take breaks at the end of each semester. I had the privilege of having nearly two weeks off of work, which means I've slept in a bit and had nearly no structure to my day for the past two weeks! That's all about to change on January the 2nd.
So, to help myself and others, here is a guide to prepare to go back to work after New Years!
GET BACK ON SCHEDULE
Additionally, follow through with much of your morning and afternoon routines. This means getting dressed, making and eating breakfast, and so on. This will put you back into the right mindset.
CLEAN UP YOUR DANG HOUSE
PICK OUT SOME OUTFITS
CONSIDER AUTOMATING SOME TASKS
I always feel like I have to preface my posts about children by saying that I'm not a mom yet, unless you count dogs and cats! However, I've heard from a number of parents that these three gifts are a must when you are purchasing things for your children each year.
So, here are the three types of gifts you should include under the tree for your kids this year.
SOMETHING THEY WANT
With that being said, sometime children will want something that is outrageously expensive and just kind of out of the question. This might include a new cellphone, laptop, gaming device, etc. Have them identify something they really want in different price ranges so that you and family members can give them at least one thing from their wish list.
SOMETHING THEY NEED
I can tell you as someone who regularly received clothing items and necessities that I always loved wearing my new stuff as soon as possible. As an adult, I'm thrilled to receive things like socks, shoes, and clothing items.
With that being said, it might not be clothes that your children need. Maybe they need something for school or work like a new bag or even a piece of technology!
If you don't know what that is, it is basically a word game that gives you a funny story. You have to ask your group for different types of words like nouns, verbs, adjectives, and more. You fill in the blanks and get to read a funny, custom story. These are always fun and are educational. Educational things could also include books or other educational games.
That's it! Those are the three things that I think you should include under the tree this year for your child. Do you think I'm missing a category? Drop it in the comments below!
Christmas is approaching, and stocking stuffers are usually the last thing that families purchase for the season. But, sometimes stocking stuffers can be some of the most difficult things to buy.
These little gifts are usually very small and inexpensive. So today, I want to tell you the five type of stocking stuffers you should get for your family this year.
4: LITTLE GADGETS
5: SMALL-AMOUNT GIFT CARDS
That’s it! So, what do you hope to find in your stocking? What are some of the things that you like to put into your family members’ stockings?
'Tis the season of giving. During this time of year, you may find yourself receiving a gift that doesn't fit your body or personality, you simply can't use, or you find that someone else could use more than you.
Some people likely were taught growing up that re-gifting something is tacky or rude. However, today I want to share with you five reasons why I believe re-gifting is OK. Let's get into it:
1: IT'S NOT BECAUSE YOU'RE UNGRATEFUL
2: SOMEONE ELSE WILL TREASURE IT MORE
3: YOU'RE USUALLY NOT RE-GIFTING A GIFT THAT WAS
Most of the time, if someone gave real thought and careful consideration into a gift for you, it won't be something you want to give away. In my experiences, re-gifting typically happens from office parties or when relatives you really have no relationship with always get you something you simply can't use. For example, I remember growing up that my dad's side of the family would almost always buy my brother and I
We usually had friends or people at our church who would appreciate those as little gifts.
4: IT CAN HELP THE ENVIRONMENT
5: IT SAVES MONEY
Last but not least, re-gifting can help you save some money around the holidays. You won't have to invest in purchasing as many presents. As sort of mentioned previously, this should be done with gifts that you obviously can't use. However, if you have a holiday white elephant party to go to and you happen to have a gift that doesn't work for you, wrap it up and put it in the exchange!
Today's post will go over four things you should remember when celebrating Thanksgiving:
1. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AROUND TOXIC PEOPLE
To me, that part of my family was and is toxic, so I don't visit them anymore. You should never feel obligated to see anyone. It hurts my heart that some people even go to Thanksgiving dinners with their abusers because they're expected to. Do yourself a favor and address the concerns or hang back and celebrate on your own.
2. YOU DON'T HAVE TO ENGAGE IN DEBATE THAT YOU KNOW WILL RESULT IN ARGUMENTS
3. IF YOU DON'T HAVE MONEY TO CELEBRATE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A TRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING
4. BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING MIGHT NOT ACTUALLY BE A GOOD DEAL
I have a lot I can say about Black Friday, so I might make a different post THIS Friday. However, let me just say that there are some good Black Friday deals and some bad ones. Be mindful that you are nearly trampling and killing someone a mere hours after saying how thankful you are for what you have!
So, I figured today, and Thanksgiving is nearing and it is, after all, a season of thanks, I would post a blog about the thirty things I’m thankful for this year. Be advised that I’m always thankful for these things, but ‘tis the season to share it with the world.
2: MY HUSBAND, JONATHAN
This dude is one of my best friends. That's how our relationship started, as friendship. For every person listed on this post, it will be hard to sum up in a few lines why they mean so much to me.
Jonathan loves me unconditionally and is always there for me to listen when I'm having a rough day or just need to talk. I thank God for him every day!
3. MY MOM, SUSAN
My mom is one of my biggest cheerleaders and confidants. She always listens to my problems, offers advice, and tells it how it is. I used to HATE it when she did that, but her words always make more sense as time ticks on.
She's also one of my biggest inspirations. She's been through so much physically and emotionally, and she's still standing. I can thank my mom for so many things, and she knows all about them. Love you mom! I'm so thankful for you!
4. MY BROTHER, TREY
My brother and I have always had an interesting relationship. We fought like cats and dogs when we were younger but, as the years have flown by, I always enjoy hanging out with him or talking to him. Even when we were growing up, he always stood up for me when someone did something mean.
Trey, I really appreciate all that you do. Thank you for taking care of Mom and Nana. I know you have the wanderlust spirit and I know you'll be traveling again someday.
5. MY NANA
My Nana is no doubt a handful and we often have issues with her. She has dementia but is able to still function on her own for the most part. While the years have made it harder and harder to be close to her, she has done a lot of me. From picking me up after school, watching Iron Chef with me, and even helping to pay for part of my college education, she's always been someone I've been thankful for.
6. MY IN-LAWS
Whenever you marry someone, you also marry their family. Getting used to how another family works can be tough. However, help from my father-in-law has saved us on more than one occasion. We always tend to leave their house with some fresh-grown veggies from my mother-in-law, and I always love hearing Jonathan laughing with his brothers!
7. MY FRIENDS
I have a pretty small friend group. Aside from Jonathan, my best friends are Jeremy, Lauren, Tyler, and Paige. I met all of them in college. I love that, despite having busy lives, living far from one another, and forgetting sometimes to message each other back, we all still love and support one another. I miss them all like crazy when they aren't around. I love you guys. If it wasn't for you, I never would have made it through college.
8. MY JOB
I usually like to keep work and my blog and content separate, but I don't think its an issue since I am BRAGGING about my job a little!
My job has given me so many opportunities. I've met people like Ruby Bridges and Cal Ripken Jr. I've had the opportunity to see concerts from people like Nick Jonas and T-Pain, Hunter Hayes, and B.o.B.
I love what I do and the amazing people I get to meet, plan for, and advertise on social media. This job lets me be creative. No job is perfect, but this one has really helped me develop my skills.
9. MY CHURCH
This photo is from Trunk or Treat this year. I love that we are finally a part of a church that gives us such meaningful and impactful sermons each time we are there. We LOVE going to church now. On top of it all, this church is super involved in the community and puts on free events throughout the year in an effort to assist the homeless and underserved people in our area.
I love that. I love that this church takes community and serving others so seriously and I look forward to growing with this church!
10. MY BLOG
11. OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
If you didn't know, my husband and I have a YouTube channel together. I love posting videos (which are normally posted every Tuesday and Thursday).
I've had this channel for what seems like forever, but I'm finally posting consistently. Please go subscribe and let me know if I can support you in any way!
12-14. OUR HOME, CARS, AND FOOD
I adopted Maisel during a difficult time in my life. My Grandy was really sick and it was around Christmas. I knew that Jonathan always wanted a dog, and I thought it was a good time to get one.
She is still in her puppy phase. She tears things up on occasion and pulls when she's on her leash. But she is actually a really good girl. She seemed to be leash trained and crate trained when we got her.
Even though she can be annoying at times, it's all worth it when she curls up next to us in bed or when she rolls over for some tummy rubs. I love her lots!
16. RUM TUM
This is the queen of our house. She has been for years. I love Rum Tum. I always wished that she would be more affectionate, but she is a pretty mild-mannered cat. She will let you hold her and she doesn't bite. She likes to play with her toys and adjusted to the addition of a dog fairly easily. I love her, even though I share my office space with her liter box!
17. REMINDERS OF MY GRANDY
I am and always will be thankful for my grandfather, who I always have called Grandy. He was like my father. Unfortunately, we lost him this past April. However, he knew how much we loved him and we knew how much he loved us.
I love seeing little reminders of him. It's so crazy, but every time a memory creeps into my brain, I tend to see a Monarch butterfly. Sometimes it is when I'm letting Maisel out to use the bathroom, other times it is literally when I'm barreling down the highway!
18. THE MILLENNIAL ADVISORY COMMISSION
A few months ago, I and about 12 other millennials in my city were named to the inaugural Millennial Advisory Commission. That's right, ya girl is a commissioner at age 26.
I love this commission because it has ignited a passion in me that I didn't even know I had. I'm even considering writing an eBook on Millennial concerns and various topics. We are still in our beginning stages, but I'm so looking forward to making some lasting impressions on our community and in the lives of our fellow Millennials.
19. THE FAYNC BLOGGER NETWORK
I've had the amazing opportunity this past year to be connected with the Fayetteville NC Blogger Network. Basically, a group of talented local bloggers and YouTubers who cover area events, fashion, lifestyle, military spousal support, and much more.
This photo is from a photoshoot by the guy in the left corner, Tim Ellis. He is a hugely talented photographer who take the MOST BOMB pictures of his beautiful and inspiring wife, LaNatria Ellis! I've loved watching her being recognized by huge brands and I always enjoy her Monday Motivationals where she gives tips for growing artists. I always love the posts and support from TheMrsTee and all of the other bloggers in our Network.
20. MY READERS AND FOLLOWERS
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I could have so many likes and follows on a social media app.
Thanks to TikTok, I've gotten new subscribers on YouTube and I've been able to interact with a ton of great people.
If you have a TikTok, you should follow me. Drop your username in the comments and I'll follow you back as soon as I see it!
24. OUR MILITARY
Our military does so much to protect us. Sometimes I wish we didn't put our military at risk when they don't need to be, but I understand that we as a nation tend to look out for others as well, and that's not always a bad thing.
I pray for our military and the leaders of our government each and every day. Thank you all!
25. LITTLE SURPRISES
26. EACH AND EVERY DAY
27. MY MIND AND OCCASIONAL SANITY
28. FREELANCE OPPORTUNITIES
BLUE CHEVRON ZULILY ONESIE
My mom is still recovering from her ankle and foot injury, and she had purchased this adorable onesie from Zulily.
However, due to her cast, it was a bit hard for her to wear, but not impossible.
She wanted to give it to me, so I actually was able to wear it toward the end of this month. It was SO adorable, and I got a lot of compliments on it.
As you can see in the picture, the crotch area is baggy. It's like wearing PJs to work, which I'm always in favor of.
I liked the way it looked when it was paired with my jean jacket, although I'm sure a cozy cardigan would still look great with it! The biggest struggle was shoes, but I just paired it with some nude flats!
A WHOLE BRAND NEW OUTFIT!
My mom always kills it when she picks out birthday gifts for me. The accessories with this outfit were chosen by her.
The sweater is super comfy and I wear it pretty much whenever I can.
âI'm sad that you can't see the shoes very well, but they are tie up chunky heels that are beige with black dots to make them look like leopard print.
Lastly, I got the dress off of Rosegal.com for about $19. It is comfy and fits pretty well!
PRETTY THINGS AND FAIRY WINGS BRUSH COLLECTION FROM TARTE COSMETICS
I've been getting into makeup more and more lately, and I realized that I don't really use the brushes for what they're intended to be used for. For my birthday this year, I decided to get a proper brush set and I've been loving the results.
My favorite out of this set is probably the purple one, which is for highlight. I didn't actually have a highlighter brush in my small collection already, so I've been loving the look it gives when I use the right applicator!
A month or two ago, I trie dout the Shape Tape Hydrating foundation, but this time I wanted to try the matte version.
I must say that I like this one better. I think it would be best to know your skin type before you purchase, because I think that matte foundation works out best for me.
Like I said with the last one, I love the applicator, although it does make it kind of difficult to put the foundation everywhere easily. I still love it and it has a great coverage, in my opinion!
When Halloween was coming around, I knew I wanted to find a good (but cheap) black lipstick that I could wear for the holiday season.
I really like the Nyx formula, as it seemingly matted down, at least for me. I will say that, like a lot of darker lipsticks, this doesn't like to stick in the inner part of the lip, so you can have a pink rim showing on the inside. Not great if you're a fan of duck lips, for sure!
Still, for $7, it did the job and did it well!
All Lives Matter
Black History Month
Black Lives Matter
Civil Rights Movement
Drive Electric Week
National Women's Day
Old Mother Hubbard
Save A Life
Stop The Bleed
The Ingham Family
The Opinionated One
The Pioneer Woman
Things I Love
What I Learned
Year In Review