What are you reading?

For the year 2018 my only resolution was for me to grow, education-wise, spiritually, Financially, knowledge-wise, heck, I’m even waiting for my hair to grow! I just want to grow! I’d already enrolled to go back to school so that was one thing checked off my list. I have been working steadily on a piece of writing that I hope to one day publish so that’s another thing to check off. I would love to travel so I could grow in the other ways I listed but realistically I can only afford to travel from my room to the kitchen–for free!

So, I thought, hmm, what’s another way can I travel without having to fork over hundreds of dollars? I side-glanced at my little bookshelf that is overflowing with books (because I keep getting free books from the free bin at 2nd and Charles and keep buying .25 cent-.50 cent books from my local library! Good books, too! I just purchased The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, today for .25 cents! I kidja not!)

I almost challenged myself to read all of the books on my bookshelf but that was extremely unrealistic as there have to be over two hundred books on that joint! So I decided to challenge myself to read one book a month.  So far I have been successful in keeping up with my challenge–In fact, I am one month ahead!

Below I’ve listed all of the books I have read thus far and I will keep adding to this list:

UPDATE: As of July 18, 2018, I am now two months ahead of my reading goal!

January: Murder List by Julia Garwood

February: Express Male by Elizabeth Bevarly

March: Words of Seduction by Dara Girard

April: Second Chance by Danielle Steel

May: You’ve Been Warned by James Patterson

June: Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

July: The Heart of a Killer by Jaci Burton

August: Now you see her by James Patterson

September: Undeniable by Francis Ray

October:

November:

December:

All of these books were amazing! And each of them helped me with my own writing! I am so glad I started this challenge!

I know reading is everyone’s “thing” but I encourage you to pick up a book and read it! If you really cannot sit through reading a book, I encourage you to challenge yourself to do something and keep at it for the whole entire year.  Even if you start your challenge now, your “year” ends next year this month, this day, so come on! Let’s grow!

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Forgiveness

I pride myself in being one of those people who doesn’t affiliate themselves with any religion.  Unlike many people who stand on the same side of the fence as me, I simply choose not to affiliate myself with a religion simply because I feel like it allows me to better observe other peoples’ beliefs and religions objectively.

From my observation, a lot (not all) religious folks treat religion like it’s a gang or something.  They all have one common goal–to serve their God, but because each religion reaches that goal differently, folks be side-eying each other and turning their noses up.

And oh, the looks you get when you tell them “I am not religious”; Some may outright look at you like you are standing there smearing poop all over your face while others may suppress their irritation and squeak out “God still loves you anyway”

It’s crazy to me.

But because I don’t practice any religion, I get to observe and keep it pushing.

Every once in a while I get a visit from this woman who is a Jehovah’s Witness.  Like I said previously I welcome all religions and I really love to learn about the different things that make people move; the different things that they believe, so I welcome this woman into my home every so often, she has my phone number and she knows my family.  Let me just throw it out there that my grandparents from my father’s side are Jehovah’s Witnesses as well as several of my interpreters from High School, some friends and a few people I have met during my residence here in Charlotte, NC, so I am already  somewhat familiar with how their belief system works.

During her last visit, however, I learned something new.  Something I never knew before.

I expressed to her that I was pained by the fact that the mother of a friend of mine just found out she has breast cancer.  I told her that it wasn’t fair because the woman in question is one of the sweetest people I know; she does everything right and she is also a Jehovah’s Witness.  And don’t get me wrong, I understand that bad things happen to good people sometimes but this situation has deeply upset me to the point where it feels like my own mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  I hate that this is happening.

So anyway, my visitor quoted a scripture (I wish I could remember which one exactly, but maybe you know it if so comment below) but in short, she basically said the reason why bad things keep happening in the world is because Adam sinned and we are all basically paying for his sins?

But then that’s where I became puzzled.

First of all, I didn’t know there was a religion out there that believes the whole forbidden fruit incent was Adam’s fault! My visitor explained that though Eve is the one who took the first bite, Adam was faulted because God told him not to eat it and Adam then told Eve not to but clearly Eve wasn’t trying to hear all of that, took a bite and Adam followed suit.  According to my visitor, Adam was the one punished because not only did he not prevent Eve from doing her, but he also disobeyed God by following Eve’s lead instead of being a leader.

By the way, I think it’s mean to forbid someone from having a healthy snack. Yet we get our ears talked off when we opt to have a donut instead of ice chips, we just can’t win, but anyway…

The second thing that puzzled me was the lack of forgiveness.  Most religions from my observation talk a lot about forgiving people for their sins because we are all humans and we are not perfect.  So my question is, why wasn’t Adam forgiven for being a follower instead of a leader?

He was expected to be perfect and he wasn’t given any wiggle room to mess up or to be forgiven despite the fact that God forbade him. It sounds like he was set up for the fail! To say Adam was punished is one thing, but to say we are all eternally screwed because of that one fuck up, is just….mean! But then I thought…Jesus died for our sins? So now, I am really confused.  Were Adam’s sins not included?

Let’s talk about this! Drop your feelings and comments below. Comment anything, What are your beliefs? Educate me! I want to learn because I am really confused out here!

 

What I think about OLE HENRIKSEN C-RUSH brightening creme

Okay so, as of late, I’ve been trying to become a real-life woman after years of being a tomboy (Oh, it’s so hard, y’all). I became a product tester for Influenster a little over a year ago and they’re so dope, I swear.

They sent me this creme and asked me to blog about my experience with it. And well, I like to talk (though I prefer to talk shit) so I figured, sure, why not?!

First of all, I recieved this creme by surprise, I wasn’t expecting this joint to pull up in my mailbox but since it did I was all “awwww Influenster, why do y’all stay so dope??!” So boom, I opened my package and felt a little bougie (did I spell that correctly?) Because this creme is packaged in a cute glass jar–or at least my out-of-touch-with-all-things-woman ass thinks it’s glass…it could be plastic…hard, cold plastic… that looks and feels like glass.

But anyway, I felt bougie because the only glass items I own are my wine glasses (those make me feel bougie, too). So I thought, damn Influenster is really out here trying to get a sista to grow up and start living her best life. Shit just got O.D. real, y’all.

I opened the joint and it actually smelled quite nice. It has a light orange fragrance to it, any idiot would think it was edible and try to taste it.

Thank GOD, I’m not an idiot!

For one week I followed the instructions and applied the creme to my face twice daily and you know what? My face started to itch. What the hell?

I had to dial it back a bit. I went from applying twice a day to once a day and my face still itched. But hold on, y’all, the same week that I started using this product, I also started washing my face with raw black soap to get my skin poppin like my sisters in Wakanda (Wakanda forever!) So I thought, hm, maybe the two products just don’t go together.

Well, I had to stop using one product for the time being and of course I chose to stop using OLE HENRIKSEN– what? You thought I was going to turn my back on Wakanda? Pfbt! But as luck would turn out, my husband was trying to get his skin poppin, too and that fool thought he was being slick and didn’t think I would notice that my soap was losing too much weight too quickly.

Child, I called him out.

So, I went two weeks without using either product until earlier this week, I started using OLE HENRIKSEN once a day. And so far, no itchy scratchy on the mug, y’all!

If y’all trying to purchase this stuff, they sell it at Sephora for 44 bucks. Shit, I’m glad I got it for free. Thank you Influenster!

Emptiness from an empty nest

See, I’m young now and so are my kids.  I know that it would be YEARS before I have to worry about the day I ship my last child off to college–especially since I haven’t even had my last child yet.  But I have always been that person who looks ahead in effort to stay prepared for whatever obstacles that may rear its head.

I know it’s early, but I can’t seem to figure how I would deal with an empty nest.  Will I rejoice and do back flips? Or will I sulk around the house and think about all of the times my kids gave me near heart attacks or the times they made me laugh until tears streamed down my eyes.

Will I be that clingy mother who calls their child every single day while they are away at college? Or will I be the type of mother who gives their child space? I know I am young but I can’t help but wonder about the day I ship my last child off to college and end up with an empty nest!

If you have experienced an empty nest, what are some of the ways you prepared for it? What are some of the ways you coped with it?

via Daily Prompt: Nest

Move, B*tch!

On this beautiful day, Kia woke up determined to put an end to life as she’d known it.  She was a Senior in High School and she still found it hard to make eye contact with the opposite sex. Whenever a dude would ask her for something as simple as a pencil or even look her way the blood from her face would drain, turn into bodily fluids and come out from the lower part of her anatomy. To say she was still a virgin was simply an understatement–if that was even possible.  If there was anything more pure than a virgin then that was definitely her.

On the long the list of things that she hasn’t done thus far in her life, things having to do with the opposite sex was embarrassingly long.  Never looked a boy in the eyes, never had a conversation with a boy, never kissed a boy never even held a boy’s hand.  It was just all around pathetic and she was sick of being the only socially awkward girl in town.  Today, that was going to change.

This past weekend her cousin Lexy came by for a visit and if Kia felt like crap about herself before, she definitely felt worst after Lexy’s visit. The girls were only born one month apart and were more like sisters than cousins but due to the fact that Uncle Leroy had to move his family across town two months ago when he got that better job at the factory, the girls weren’t able to see each other as often as they used to. But, dang how much could have changed in just two months?

Apparently, every frickin’ thing.

Looking at Lexy used to be like looking in the mirror, but now it was like being Gretchen from Trolls looking at Barbie.  Kia could not believe her cousin’s transformation.  Oh, the betrayal.

Lexy walked different, talked different, she even dressed different and wore lip gloss! And when did she get boobs? Or that…big butt?

Kia’s mood the whole weekend was this . 

Lexy had a “whole boyfriend” as she put it, and gave Kia some pointers on how to get one herself and while Kia sat there trying to figure out if a “half boyfriend” meant a boyfriend with half a body, Lexy laid some heavy stuff on her.

“You’ll fuck around and be that old lady with twenty cats and cobwebs in her pussy if you don’t glow up soon, sis.”

And when the heck did Lexy start using foul language? So many questions, and not enough answers.  Kia was overwhelmed.

By the end of the visit, Lexy had taught Kia everything she knew about boys and how life worked and even decided to let Kia have all of the clothes in her over night bag. She told her to consider it a gift and while Kia appreciated it, she felt like a fish out of water. What the heck was she supposed to do with this stuff? The pants looked like a second layer of skin on her and the shirts were a too revealing for her taste. But then again, if she wanted to avoid being the cat lady, she was going to have to get used to this stuff.  Out with the “old lady attire” as Lexy called it and in with the “sexy sexy-me gear”

Looking at herself in the mirror before she left for school that morning, Kia inhaled and exhaled sharply. She was really going to do this. She couldn’t believe that she was really going to do this.

Walking the distance to school, she was aware of the stares she was getting and almost decided to marry the guy who delivered her first very first cat call but then she remembered what Lexy said, “be cool, and don’t let them see that their words effect you” so Kia tried her best to stifle her grin and keep her glee at bay.

Standing across the street from her school she saw the one reason why she often woke up to drenched panties in the morning.  Brandon Brown stood laughing with his group of friends then her heart stopped when he looked directly at her.  Her eyes darted to the spot on the ground at her feet–force of habit–and she felt herself having what she assumed was an on-coming panic attack.

Sneaking a glance upward, her knees began to wobble under her weight as she saw him walking towards her. She was sure she was going  to collapse and no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t get herself to move!

Glancing up again she saw his lips moving but couldn’t for the life of her understand what he was saying.  His dark brown eyes seemingly pierced into her flesh she wasn’t sure if she remembered how to breathe.  She was feeling a little lightheaded.

Suddenly he was inches from her body waving his hand at her.  Brandon Brown was Waving at Kia Howard! Oh, she could die happy now.  She sheepishly waved back and willed herself to relax. She gulped and straightened her back and looked into his eyes, trying her best to get a grip and understand the words he was saying but the romantic slow motion music that played in the background in her head muted his words.  She blinked and all she could hear was the honking of horns drowning out his words.

She blinked again and the honking got louder.

And louder.

And louder.

She was finally able to make out what he was saying,

“Yo! Move the fuck out of the way!”

She was confused.  Why was he yelling at her?  She finally gets his attention and the first thing he does is yell at her?  Talk about a turn off.

“Bitch, move! I’ll run you over I swear, I’m not afraid to go to jail!”

looking to her left, Kia saw a deranged woman in one of those red convertible type cars and behind that car was a long line of other cars and angry people and in front of her Brandon continued to yell something about being naked in the middle of the street.

Confused, she looked down and….

Her clothes were nowhere to be found.

Kia had never so much as uttered a curse word in her entire life but in this very moment she was rattled beyond disbelief, humiliated, horrified.  Why was this happening to her? Covering herself with her hands she yelled out,

“What the FUUUUUU–”

The annoying honking sound of her alarm clock jolted Kia upright.  Pulling the covers up she was relieved that she had her flannel pajamas on and that it had all been just a dream.

On this beautiful day, Kia decided it wasn’t going to be the day she would “glow up.” Maybe tomorrow.

via Daily Prompt: Honk

Maybelline Matte Metallic

I am an influenser for Influenster and what happens is, we receive products for FREE to test and keep in what they call a VoxBox.  A VoxBox is just their fancy way of describing a box of goodies!  I would then have to create a series of different promotional videos and blogs to describe my experience with the products that I receive.

This month I received two of Maybelline’s Matte Metallic lipsticks: Shade number 970 Molten Bronze and Shade number 978 Smoked Silver and I have to admit at first I was a little disappointed.  The colors looked weird against my complexion but I did not give up! I was determined to make it work out one way or another!

I thought about running some concealer on my lips to make the colors pop better but decided against going that route.  I ultimately decided to try lining my lips…like I do for all of my lipsticks and that’s when I had my Ah-Ha moment! The lip-liner worked like magic!

It is just funny how things work out because in my previous VoxBox that I received from Influesnter it came with two liquid matte lipsticks and lip-liner from Maybelline!

I haven’t tried the smoked Silver shade as I am not done being in love with the Molten Bronze shade, but I promise I will try out the smoked silver with lined lips.  I am just so in love with Molten Bronze!

If anyone wants to join Influenster, click on the hyperlink I provided or if you want a higher chance of receiving VoxBoxes here’s my referral link: http://www.Influenster.com/r/2863561

Let me know if you would like to join!

Oh, and it’s absolutely free, you don’t pay for jack…I mean if I had to pay I DEAFintely wouldn’t have joined because the way my cheapness is set up……

Have you ever had an idea smack you in the face?

And I’m like “well, voice, they teach the three R’s: Reading, (w)Riting and (a)Rithmatic so that kids would know how to read their pink slips when they get fired from their first job, spell their names and figure out if they should give a cashier 20 dollars of 20 cents to cover a 5 dollar purchase. And they also provide gym classes so that children can stay fit so that in the future they could run from their problems as fast as they can.”

Well have you? And they come out of nowhere, too! They jump out of the bushes and smack you right in the face, or they’ll fall from the sky and land on your head like this hot goop of bird poop and no matter how many times you wipe it away –because you know, some ideas are way too off the wall that you fear that if you tell a soul, people will petition to have you thrown in a psych ward–it just wouldn’t budge.

Well, yesterday when I was on my way to pick up my daughter from the bus stop I had this BRILLIANT idea! It’s totally unrelated to picking up a child from a bus stop so I have no idea where the thought came from.  In fact I was thinking about what I was going to make for Sunday dinner when this little voice in my head caught my attention.

Now, ya’ll have to promise me you wouldn’t sneak up on me in the streets and ask me to put on a strait jacket–because this idea is absolutely crazy.

You see, my cause has and always will be education.  I am all for everything that is education, I appreciate everything that education can provide for us, I love everything about the feeling of being educated.  I love that my five year-old takes her education seriously, I love that my one year-old loves learning new things.  I love that my husband joined me on the “Back to school” train and he’s going for his degree in film production while I am back in school going for my Bachelors degree in Marketing and Advertisement communication.  I absolutely appreciate those who don’t take their education seriously and are content with being stupid because they make me feel super smart!

So, boom.

There I was walking and thinking about dinner when that little voice in my mind took my focus off of Sunday dinner and said “Imagine if High School actually taught kids about life after High School; the real world?”

So I told the voice, “Then these new-aged teenagers wouldn’t be as…loopy as many of them are today…they’ll be more focused and mature and organized…the world would actually have a chance of seeing better days!”

So then the voice said, “what would you suggests schools do to help prepare students for the real world?”

And I’m like “well, voice, they teach the three R’s: Reading, (w)Riting and (a)Rithmatic so that kids would know how to read their pink slips when they get fired from their first job, spell their names and figure out if they should give a cashier 20 dollars of 20 cents to cover a 5 dollar purchase. And they also provide gym classes so that children can stay fit so that in the future they could run from their problems as fast as they can.”

The voice rolled her eyes at me and said “bitch, you ain’t funny, think.  What could be done to help the children of the future be the best humans they could be?”

Okay wait, let me break off real quick and let you know that, yes I do talk to myself sometimes but you promised you wouldn’t have me committed so… back on topic.

So I’m like “High School students should be given responsibilities.  Sure, they have homework and tests to study for but what if they had real-world-like responsibilities? Sure, some teenagers have little jobs but…it’s not good enough” And then the idea smacked me right in the face.

I was thinking it would be a fantastic idea if there was a class in school that gets High School students–preferably the Seniors–ready for the real world. I thought, what if in this class (it should probably be an added curriculum for an economics class, perhaps?) all of the students are given a “debit/credit card” (a fake one of course.  Or it doesn’t even have to be a card, it could be a spreadsheet or something where they can keep track of finances) and they all started off with “broke” with no money in their “account”  Each homework or classwork assignment–depending on their grade–would be “money” to add to their “account”.

So, let’s say a student gets a ‘B’ on a homework assignment and the number grade for a ‘B’ is an 80.  Boom, so now that student has 80 dollars in their “account”. This would teach students that in order to get what you want (money) you have to work for it (do your homework) in order to be rewarded.

What if in this class, students are also “paid” to show up to class on time?  Let’s say if you show up on time you get five dollars, but if you show up late you lose 5 dollars.  This would teach students to focus more on their time management skills.

You constantly show up on time for class, do your best on your classwork and homework get high grades and watch your “money” stack up. Then between the first and fifth day of the month “rent is due” which means you’ll have to “pay” your teacher a fixed amount every single month in order to “stay in the green” a.k.a. keep a good grade.  Let’s say “rent” is 200 dollars a month (don’t we wish) you would have to “pay” your teacher this amount every month and if your “payment” is late you’ll have to pay late fees–just like in the real world. This will teach students about the importance of money management as well as teach them how to pay bills and pay them on time.

You want to go the bathroom in the middle of class? That’ll cost you 10 dollars, can you afford to miss 10 minutes of today’s lesson to go to the bathroom? This will teach students to not only use the restrooms before class to ensure that they get all of the necessary information, but it will cut down on their habit of “going to the bathroom to go meet up with their friends just to roam the hallways freely simply because they want to have fun rather than take their education seriously.”  In the real world when we do whatever we want to do all of the time, it only hurts us in the long run, why not teach students this lesson before they go out into the real world and mess up?

You want to misbehave and act like you have no home training and you end up in detention? Well, that’ll cost you.  I’m thinking the “price to pay” for detention should be double the amount of “rent,” in this case that will be 400 dollars.

Are you in debt? You could do some extra credit work or “credit recovery” work, that will be any extra assignments, help the teacher out after school or if you really effed up, you could do community service and of course if you want to do community service you would have to provide some type of proof like a stamped time sheet. This “credit recovery” can also be utilized by the students who are in the green and they just want to “get extra money”

In the end, the ultimate reward would be to graduate High School with real world knowledge or maybe if the teacher/ class can raise enough money, they’ll be able to reward the students “in the green” with an agreed upon trip or treat of their choice.  However, for those who fall deeper in “debt” they would unfortunately fail the class and have to take it all over again which would mean…they wouldn’t be able to graduate. Just like in the real world when you fall deep in debt, you pretty much have to start all over again from the beginning and work your way up.

Of course this idea is still very new as I just thought of it yesterday and I am sure I will add to it later on, but what do you think about this added curriculum? I’m thinking it would be a good side-lesson for an economics class, what do you think?