Keep pushing, sis!

I saw a quote on Instagram a few days ago about how you should never stop promoting yourself, even if people feel some type of way about it. Let’s be honest, we’re surrounded by a culture of people who feel as if it’s “lame” to self-promote. Well let them unfollow you, mark you as spam or whatever, but you have to keep marketing yourself. I had to let this one sink in big time. There are times when I’m promoting my business, sometimes posting two or three times a day. Maybe I get one like, and it’s usually my husband! But there are times when I’ve felt like I’m bothering my followers with my posts. Here I am trying to self-promote, build a brand, and build up a solid following, but I’m second-guessing whether or not I should write another status or create another post because I don’t want my followers to be “annoyed.” Does that even make sense?

I’ve seen multiple statuses of some friends on Facebook who actually laugh at people from high school for self-promoting or share memes about how annoying it is to see. Truth is, that only speaks volumes about who they are and how unsatisfied they are with the things that they AREN’T doing in their own lives. Don’t let them define or hinder you in your own journey. Marketing yourself is NEVER spam. The post that you share may not get hundreds of likes, but guess what, someone saw it and that someone can potentially provide you with the connections or visibility that you currently need. Sometimes you may even feel as if the content that you just created wasn’t the best, but you have to post it! Every time you create something, you’re continuously sharpening your skills and improving each time you do so. I have so much content that I have archived because I feel like I could’ve done this or that better or maybe I don’t like how I look in one frame! (HAHAHA) Art is imperfect, subjective, and you improve each time you work on it. Some may not like your content this week, but some will so drop it! You have some people who may unfollow you because they’re tired of seeing your posts. Well, let them go and wish them well. There are ten more people who will follow you in their place.

I want to encourage everyone who has an idea, a business plan, or anything at all that they are holding back to release it. It’s your time to start NOW! Don’t worry about what others will think of you, who will or won’t support you, or the possibility of failure. Failure is just a stop along the way of success. Don’t let anything or anyone hinder you, especially your own self. You will never know how successful you can be unless you actually try. Also, for those of you who have already started your journey, keep promoting and keep pushing! Like your own pictures to show that you support yourself. I used to feel weird about that, but how can we expect anyone to support us if we don’t even support us? MARKET YOURSELF AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! There’s absolutely nothing annoying about that.

While you’re here, follow my business page @BLKWallstreetHTX on Instagram and check out the podcast “The Kulture Report” on iTunes that my husband created. Peace and blessings to all!

BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.

“I smile. Even though I hurt, see I smile.
I know God is working so I smile.
Even though I been here for a while, I smile, smile.
It’s so hard to look up when you been down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now.
You look so much better when you smile, so smile.” – Kirk Franklin
BLM2

JUSTICE FOR ALL?

This past weekend’s Verzuz battle with Kirk Franklin going up against Fred Hammond was much needed during a time like this. No matter what I’m going through in life, I can play Smile by Kirk, and my spirits are immediately uplifted. I think the world needed to hear it. The black community needed to hear it. Hell, ALL Americans needed to hear it. We are all mentally and physically exhausted having to deal with police brutality, discrimination, constant judgement and prejudice. For those of you who have never had to experience it, you may not even understand, but we’re just asking for it to be heard and acknowledged. It’s been WAY too long that we have had to deal these same issues, and most of the time that we voice our opinions, we’re met with opposition and defensiveness. Our  mission is not to offend, instead it’s for CHANGE, LOVE, PEACE, JUSTICE and HAPPINESS for ALL Americans. I hear so often about the rights of American citizens, but as a Black woman, I always feel that there is a clause to the rights that I possess.

Continue reading “BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.”

SPEAK LIFE

Without realizing it, we can prevent ourselves from reaching the goals that we often long to achieve. We tell ourselves that we aren’t good enough, we aren’t smart enough, or we don’t deserve the very thing that is meant for us. In those moments of negative self-talk, we put the energy out there into the universe that we can’t do something and that may be what causes it not to happen. I’ve learned that you can choose to speak your goals into existence or speak them directly into the ground. Either way, you have the power of both the tongue and action. Continue reading “SPEAK LIFE”

Can someone in a relationship have friends of the opposite sex?

I don’t know about you ladies, but being in quarantine has taken it’s toll on my hair and nails, BIG TIME! I simply couldn’t take it anymore, so I decided to get on YouTube and figure out how to do my own twists. I had enough of looking like Ciely from “The Color Purple!” So while I was twisting my hair, I watched one of my favorite movies, “Brown Sugar.” If you hadn’t seen this movie before, it’s about two best friends who are played by Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs, and they are secretly in love with each other. Even while they are in relationships with other people, they just can’t shake the love and longing for each other, which creates problems in their relationships. Even though I had seen this move a million times before, this really had me wondering if it’s possible to be friends with someone of the opposite sex while you are in a relationship. The answer to this question may simply be a matter of personal preference. Personally, I don’t believe there is one right or wrong answer at all. I’ve heard many different responses from a variety of people, and it’s never quite the same based on factors such as gender and life experiences.

While friendships of the opposite sex during your single life is great, they can often be risky and problematic during your while you’re in a relationship. While I do believe that it is possible for someone to carry on a friendship with someone of the opposite sex while being in a relationship , I believe that that depends on certain circumstances involving that friendship. Let’s be honest, most relationships begin from a friendship. Particularly, if you and your significant other were friends at one point and then became more, it may make it more difficult for them to feel comfortable with another one of your friends of the opposite sex. Again, I believe this will depend on certain factors that will determine whether or not that relationship is acceptable.

The Friendship Can not be rooted in Attraction

I don’t think I have to explain in detail why this isn’t a good idea. However, I’ll spell it out for some of you who are still a bit confused. Chris Brown tried to tell y’all that grass ain’t greener on the other side, but the catch is that it ALWAYS appears to be. If you have a friend that you see as attractive and you aren’t with that person all the time, then every time you see them, hair is on point! Make-up is flawless! He always has a fresh cut, and the beard is as neat as could be! You’re not waking up to that woman with a bonnet on her head, and you’re not seeing that man with crust in his eye in the morning. They always appear to be better than what you have, because what you are seeing is exactly what they want you to see. As soon as your spouse pisses you off, which they will, you start thinking about your perfect little friend who NEVER nags you or says the wrong things. This never ends well.

You Feel the Need to Hide the Friendship from your Significant Other

If you’re hiding something, then deep down inside you know that you are doing something wrong. If you aren’t comfortable behaving the same way with that friend in front of your significant other, then you need to ask yourself if what you are doing is right. So no secret lunch dates, private text messages or phone calls. Some of you may not agree, but emotional affairs can be worse than physical ones, but I’m not saying you should do that either. When you’re sharing personal secrets, venting to that person about your spouse, and discussing things that you can’t even do with your significant other than that shows just how invested you are in that friendship. Would you feel comfortable if your spouse had the same type of relationship with someone of the opposite sex that you are having with that person? If the answer is no, then is this really a relationship that you should continue to entertain?

You are Former Lovers

Ummm, NOOO! I’ve seen too many instances where exes are “friends,” and as soon as your partner makes you upset, that ex all of a sudden becomes golden! It’s funny how quickly someone can forget exactly why they decided to end a relationship with an ex when the person they are currently in a relationship with screws up. Like, never mind the fact that she cheated on you or he has nothing going on for himself. At that moment, they seem like long, lost treasure. That doesn’t happen in every situation, but my point is that it could happen, and the fact that you have history with this person doesn’t make it better. You’ve already kissed and whatever else, so what’s stopping you from doing it again when the opportunity presents itself?

You are friends by association

This can mean that you are friends with this person, because they are friends with your spouse, family, co-workers, ect. and maybe they’re in a relationship as well. As long as none of the three factors above are present, I believe that friends by association can work. I consider some of my husband’s closest friends to be my friend as well. I mean, you end up spending so much time with these people that you may develop a friendship.

They don’t play for the same team as you

This type of friendship will work for obvious reasons. They don’t want you, because you aren’t their type! I have plenty of gay male friends, and trust me, they don’t see me in a romantic way at all and my husband doesn’t feel uncomfortable with the relationship.

SPOILER ALERT: In “Brown Sugar,” Taye Diggs’ wife ended up cheating on him, because of the jealousy she had for his relationship with Sanaa, and Sanaa broke up with her fiance’ because she was in love with Taye. In the end of the movie, they finally end up getting together. In my opinion, if any of the first three factors are present, this is a possibility when you have male and female friendships. This isn’t always true, and I’m sure some of disagree. I just think you’re in dangerous territory when you have these type of friendships while you are in a relationship. What do you think? Do you think it’s possible to be friends with someone of the opposite sex while you are in a relationship? If so, why? I wan to hear from you!!

Would you date a man who has dated both men and women?

After hearing from a few people and laughing at some of the wild memes on Facebook, I gave in and began watching the Netflix show, “Love is Blind.” Honestly, I wasn’t sure if this was something that I would be able to get in to. Let’s be honest, “reality shows” aren’t very real at all these days and it’s way too many of them on television, so I’m always searching for a show that at least is honest about the fact that they have a script. It’s funny but majority of the “confrontational scenarios” on reality television are set up by the producers of the show. Most of these actors will tell you straight up that they’re neither friends nor enemies with the rest of the characters on the show. And yes, I called them actors! The Real Housewives of Atlanta, New York, and wherever else they are these days are actors, and yep, I’m still going to watch! The Bachelor and Bachelorette? They’re actors too! So, I wasn’t sure about watching yet another fictional reality show about finding love, however, I was curious about this one. On Love is Blind, single men and women are put into a speed dating situation where they have 10 days to get to know one another in these pods, but the catch is that they can’t see each other. Everyone understands that once you make a connection and decide that you want to be with someone, you will immediately be engaged, move in together and get married within the next couple of weeks. Crazy, right?  Continue reading “Would you date a man who has dated both men and women?”

My Top 5 Self-Care Essentials

I know how easy it is to neglect self-care, TRUST ME, I do! We spend so much time constantly moving, being busy, and caring for others while forgetting about ourselves in the process. However, if we want to maintain a healthy mood, boost our confidence and self-esteem, manage stress properly, and have a better physical and mental health, then self-care is essential to all of those boxes on our checklist. Self-care can be as simple or complex as you would like it to be, but it’s important to make sure to set some time aside to focus solely on YOU. Read more about my personal top 5 essential self-care practices below!

MEDITATION

Now I’m not telling you to meditate for an extreme period of time, especially if you’re new to this. For a while when I first began meditating, it was very difficult for me to sit still for even two to three minutes without my mind wandering off on what I still needed to do for the rest of the day. The whole point of meditating is to let go and clear your mind, even if you have to start small. This has been beneficial for me, because I tend to overthink everything. There are endless benefits to meditation, such as stress reduction, enhanced self-awareness, and it can improve your sleep quality as well. Another great benefit, you can do it ANYWHERE!

EXERCISE REGULARLY

Again, this doesn’t mean for you to strain yourself or create some unattainable goal that only makes you want to give up before you really get started. I suggest you start with small goals and work your way up to the larger ones. Things such as walking briskly for 30 minutes a day will really get your blood flowing, and there are many other benefits as well. In my situation, I have a 10 month old baby that likes to pull himself up using any part of my body and just be next to me ALL DAY. Seriously, if I’m out of his sight, AKA in the kitchen where he can’t see me, he will throw a full blown fit. As much as I love Aiden, it’s nice to be able to use my workout time as “Me” time. As a mom, that’s something that I really have learned to value and I’m sure that all you moms can agree. That’s only one of the many benefits that I love about exercising. Physical activity can also help improve your mental health and mood, which is a big one for me, help you control your weight, reduce the risk of heart disease, which is the number one cause of death for black people, as well as increase your chances of living longer. I see no downside to even the smallest contribution to this!

YOGA

I’ve been doing yoga inconsistently for about 4 years. So basically, this is something that I’ve been wanting to get into for a while, but I always made it unnecessarily difficult for myself. I would start the trial membership at some fancy yoga studio, and then once the trial was over, so was my interest in yoga. This wasn’t because I didn’t like it, but more so because my coins didn’t. I actually really enjoyed all of the classes that I’ve attended. Hot yoga was probably my favorite, but honestly, you don’t have to necessarily spend $200 a month to get into yoga. There are plenty of sessions on YouTube for my favorite price: THE FREE! My favorite channel so far has been “Yoga with Adriene.” She has videos ranging from beginner to advanced, and she also creates what I like to call a “series” of videos pertaining to one goal. I’m currently on the “30 Days of Yoga” series, which is beneficial for all my beginners. Some of my favorite yoga benefits include increased flexibility, improved breathing, which helps if you’re a runner or working your way up to that, increased muscle strength, stress reduction, and it also improves your blood pressure.

JOURNALING

As I mentioned before, my mind is CONSTANTLY racing. Unfortunately, sometimes that means that I’m always forgetting things. Journaling helps me settle my thoughts, as well as utilize this outlet to express myself. This is very beneficial for me, because it helps to contribute to my creativity. Other benefits include helping me to achieve my goals, reduces stress, improves communication skills, as well invokes healing. For some strange reason, I love using composition books for documenting my thoughts, but you can use almost anything as your journal. I just purchased this nice journal from amazon for about $20. There are even guided journals that you can buy. Trust me guys, you’ll love it!

FIND A GREAT SKIN CARE ROUTINE

It’s something about taking care of my skin that just makes me feel good! I legit have a rule that I don’t like people touching my face. First of all, your hands are the dirtiest things on your body. We’re constantly touching surfaces, objects, ect., and some of you nasties don’t like to wash your hands! I hope you all are at least trying to keep them clean during this pandemic, but let’s make it a habit, people! So anyway, I really have a problem with nasty hands touching my face. I feel bad, but sometimes my husband tries to be sweet and grab my face and I will dodge those hands with the quickness! I don’t know about you, but I love me some clear, glowing skin! My go-to face cleanser is Clean & Clear Morning Burst, and I love using coconut oil as a moisturizer. I’ll also try many different DIY face masks on pinterest, and I just recently began using Thayer’s Witch Hazel as my toner, as well as added an eye cream and official moisturizer to my regimen. I’ve never been the type to wear make-up that often. I always worry about aging skin, and honestly I don’t know what the hell I’m doing! I spent many days looking either casket sharp or like a circus clown! I much rather a natural looking face, so keeping my skin as clear as possible is important.

These are only five of the many self-care practices that are available for you to try. You need to find out what self-care means to you, and figure out a way to start implementing a routine. Yes, we’re all busy and we all have other things to worry about, but you should never neglect to worry about yourself. So, look up self-care practices for your lifestyle and get started today! Personally, I love pinterest!! I get so many great ideas from that platform that go a long way in my own routine. If you already have a routine in place, what are some of your favorite practices? Don’t forget to talk to me in the comment section below ☺️💚

Rest. Refocus. Reset.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

How do you typically prepare for the start of a new year? Many of us spend the entire month of December developing a list of goals we want to focus on or accomplish the following year. We spend a decent amount of time figuring out what we want and how we can better ourselves going into a new year of life. 2020 was suppose to be it for all of us! I mean, we weren’t just going into a new year, but a whole new decade! I’ve seen so many memes and posts from friends and family declaring and proclaiming manifestations over their lives, but I don’t think any of us expected for ish to hit the fan less than 90 days in. Continue reading “Rest. Refocus. Reset.”

Reflecting and What Not

As we enter the start of a new year and decade, I’ve been doing plenty of reflecting and meditating on what I’ve experienced and what I want for myself in the future. 2019 was probably the best and yet, most difficult year of my life so far. I’ve gone through so many changes, both good and, I won’t say bad, but definitely unexpected. I had this expectation of the way that I believed my year would go, and it crushed me when it didn’t happen. Truthfully, it almost broke me, but here I am. It has only added to my unique multitude of layers that make up who I am and the story that I can use to help others, and no matter how difficult, I would do it all again the exact same way. Continue reading “Reflecting and What Not”

My Journey to Pregnancy

Obviously, it’s been a while since I’ve checked in with you guys. I knew that I wanted to take a small break after the wedding, but if you’ve been following my Instagram or Facebook account, then I’m sure you’re pretty much up-to-speed on how drastically my life has changed since then. If you haven’t been keeping up, then here goes! Today, marks my sixth month of pregnancy with my first child! This isn’t something that was planned at all, but I feel so blessed that my life’s events have happened the way that it has. Honestly, I’ve been very reluctant to blog during this experience, because I didn’t want this to be all that I am now. I guess you can say I was going through a period of wondering who I am at this point in my life. Am I just a wife and mother? How do I tie in my new life roles into who I was before? Continue reading “My Journey to Pregnancy”

I Miss the Old Kanye

In the year of 2010, you couldn’t tell me that Kanye West was not one of the greatest rappers of all time. I loved the artistry in his music, his style, his flow, and the fact that he was unlike any rapper that I’ve seen prior to his debut. He was the rapper that most politicians and white people hated, mostly because he said what all black people were thinking but he didn’t give AF about how he did it. I guess you can say that he was sort of like that one person that we all know who will say anything to anyone, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes them feel. That person will tell the truth without holding back. That person was Kanye. Continue reading “I Miss the Old Kanye”