Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel

Tis the season! Here’s Your At Home Guide To Creating Holiday Flare And Memories At Home This Christmas

Tis the season! Here’s Your At Home Guide To Creating Holiday Flare And Memories At Home This Christmas

There was this song that used to come on, seemingly at the same time each year where I said, “Oh yea, it’s Christmas time.” Nope, it wasn’t Jingle Bells. Although I would love to go back to a time when things were simple. Even though things have changed from age 10 to 40, I still have the same holiday spirit when the end of the year approaches. I was thinking to myself that there might be a song that reminds you of when Christmas is coming also, right?

For me, it was “What do the Lonely Do, at Christmas Time.” Now before you laugh, here’s something to really laugh about… I was only in High School then. What in the Deck The Halls, could I have possibly known about that song? Nothing! That’s the point. Christmas is that time of the year where everyone gets excited about something. We look forward to spending time with family and friends when the season approaches.

We are reminded that it’s right around the corner when we hear songs, see traditional movies and notice that department and retail stores are displaying ornaments as such. We create memories around those moments, as they begin to build when the time draws near. We all have a song, for whatever reason we attach it to Christmas. We have a ritual, a tradition, a something that gets us in the spirit of Christmas. If you don’t, I am here to tell you how to do it in a fun and exciting way!

Break Out The Onesie: Yes, it’s revenge of the Onesies. You can never get tired of an adult Onesie. I have seen Holiday themed Onesies such as: Reindeers, Elves, Frosty the Snowman, Mrs. Clause and Santa, as well as decorative in holiday colors: Red and White, Red and Green, or even an extra-large Christmas gift or Christmas Tree. These make great for holiday photos around the Christmas Tree or Fireplace. If you’re looking for something less costume like and more fashionable, there are also fleece onesies that simply have a printed assortment of holiday symbols. Do something fun, as a family and get matching onesies, or couple onesies.

Throw on Some Holiday Music: Have a dance off or play musical chairs using Christmas music. This is a no cost, all fun game that everyone can participate in, from Grandma to Grandpa, the kids and teenagers if you make it fun and include prizes for the winner. It’s also a way to enjoy the music in a new setting rather than just hearing it on the radio all day long and becoming eternally tired of ever hearing another Christmas jingle. Look at it as recycling or revamping your holiday in breathing the life back into the music by giving it a new assignment. Don’t forget the Christmas Caroling and trimming the tree! Nothing goes better with decorating the home and tree, while listening to, “This Christmas” Karaoke Anyone??

Crank Up the Oven: Cookies, Cupcakes, Scones, Cakes, Pies, Cobbler…. Just bake something. Food is the universal language of love and comfort. It fills the house with an aroma that brings everyone to the kitchen around the kitchen table or nestled together watching movies in the living room or around the fireplace roasting marsh-mellows. Don’t have a fireplace? No worries. Create a DIY Firepit in the backyard. It doesn’t have to be super large. Something small and quaint with just enough fire for the marsh-mellows accomplishes the point of just bring everyone together for that time.

Holiday Drinks: I would never leave a good drink out of a celebration. This too, is something that the kids can get involved in, apart from the adults. So, while the adults are settling in with a Jack Frost Cocktail, virgin-style or with a little alcohol. I have found some amazing recipes for a plethora of holiday/fall/winter drinks to serve at your gathering at the house between family and friend. There are also many recipes for creative ideas in composing a punch for the kids and non-alcohol drinkers. Get super creative and family and friends form a team, in which they create a recipe from scratch and share for first, second and third place prize for the best Holiday Signature Cocktail.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: Ugly Sweater Parties and Contest are still winning. Who doesn’t own an ugly sweater that they would love to recycle and find its highest and best use, where a prize could be attached to that awful sweater your mom, dad, sister or significant other bought you many years ago. It’s probably in the box in the attic or in the garage next to the stuff you keep saying that you need to throw out, giveaway or sell to a consignment store. Which brings me to my next point: If you do not have an ugly sweater, check out the consignments stores in your area. I am positive that you will find one there. Even department stores have begun to sell them brand new, and with a mess of material that will help you bring home the ultimate prize.

Themed Dirty Santa: So, what’s the difference between a Dirty Santa Holiday party and a Themes Dirty Santa/ You said it! One is themed…. It is when going in to the party, you announce to your family and friends a decided upon theme, such as (Holiday Beauty Essentials, Things that make you Cringe, Food under $5, Bath and Body Works, A Victoria Secret Party, Gadgets and Electronics, Hats and Gloves, Socks and Scarves… etc. You get it? So, pick one or two, depending on how large your party or how many participants and go from there. When your participating guest arrive, they can draw a name from the hat and that’s whom they give their gift to. Or, have your guest pull names from a hat. Whomever name is pulled, gets to choose whichever gift from under the tree they would like. All gifts should obviously be wrapped.

Originally Posted on MomBloggersClub.com

Advertisements
Lifestyle, Travel

This Is Why It’s HotLanta and Here’s Why It Should Be On Your Radar For 2018

Image result for atlanta photos

Photo Credit:http://www.atlanta.gov

Atlanta acquired the nickname HOTLanta long before I can remember, but if forced to remember, I would say that it was the year 1995 when I remember taking my first trip and determining for myself why it’s HOT. Hot in a major way, not just the weather. However, considering it’s not the hottest city temperature wise, there’s no complaints here. It has always been a city on my radar. Aside from Atlanta hosting the largest, free Jazz festival in the Country, their educational programs such as: The Cultural Experience Project, I remember saying to myself that when I graduated college, I would go to Atlanta to secure employment and set up residency. Here’s why: Dominant Sectors Include: Trade, transportation, and utilities 530.3 Professional and business services 391.4 Government 311.9 Education and health services 282.3 Leisure and hospitality 218.3 Manufacturing 146.5 Financial activities 128.5 Residential Transit… (Employees (Thousands))-Wikipedia

Image result for atlanta photos

Photo Credit: Ballard Spahr LLP

There must be a reason why Atlanta has the most traveled airport in the world, right? It ranked #1 – Serving 110 million passengers annually and functioning as headquarters for Delta Air Lines. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport connects more people than any other in the world. (http://www.metroatlantachamber.com) It probably has something to do with the state of Georgia being ranked #1 as the best state for doing business: Corporate facility investors and site consultants awarded Georgia has ranked #1 state for business climate four years in a row and the #1 state for business three years in a row.

Business & Networking: Atlanta’s Business and Networking scene is almost unmatched on the East Coast, and ranks Fourth in the number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered within city boundaries, behind New York, Houston and Dallas. With many large companies and corporations established in the city, there’s a dominant source of leadership, mentorship and affiliates to connect with as an entrepreneur, intern, or for entry level and executive level positions. Atlanta has produced some of the Country’s best in Media & Communications, Film & Television and is the source for Logistics, such as Delta Airline, which is the city’s largest employer and the metro areas third largest.

Image result for atlanta

AdWeekPhoto:

Atlanta is also a major center of television production and is the hub of the nation’s third-largest film industry. Atlanta counts the presence of Turner Studios, which produces content for the Turner Broadcasting family of stations; since 2008 the Tyler Perry Studios in Southwest Atlanta; and since 2010 the EUE/Screen Gems soundstages in Lakewood Heights, south Atlanta. Atlanta is the setting for popular TV shows such as the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Tyler Perry’s series. Due to Perry, the “Housewives”, and others, Atlanta is also known as a center of black entertainment in the U.S

The city is a major cable television programming center. Ted Turner began the Turner Broadcasting System media empire in Atlanta, where he bought a UHF station that eventually became WTBS. Turner established the headquarters of the Cable News Network at CNN Center, adjacent today to Centennial Olympic Park. As his company grew, its other channels-the Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TNT, Turner South, Turner Classic Movies, CNN International, CNN en Español, HLN, and CNN Airport Network-centered their operations in Atlanta as well (Turner South has since been sold). Turner Broadcasting is a division of Time Warner. In 2008 Tyler Perry established his studios in Southwest Atlanta; and in 2010 EUE/Screen Gems opened soundstages in Lakewood Heights, south Atlanta. The Weather Channel, owned by a consortium of NBC Universal, Blackstone Group, and Bain Capital, has its offices in the Cumberland district northwest of downtown Atlanta.

Cox Enterprises, a privately held company controlled by James C. Kennedy, his sister Blair Parry-Okeden and their aunt Anne Cox Chambers, has substantial media holdings in and beyond Atlanta; it is headquartered in the city of Sandy Springs. Its Cox Communications division, headquartered in unincorporated DeKalb County, is the third-largest cable television service provider in the United States

Employment: Anytime there’s a strong and secure platform for networking, there’s a foundation for the possibility of securing long-term employment, accomplishing career goals and maintaining longevity in a position with a major company who provides adequate benefits and pay structure. You know the adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” Well, I firmly believe that it’s what you know also who you know.

Atlanta has a growing hi-tech community and is also home to a growing Biotechnology sector, gaining recognition through such events as the 2009 BIO International Convention. Atlanta is also the headquarters of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region II.

Unincorporated DeKalb County is also home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Adjacent to Emory University, with a staff of nearly 15,000 including: engineers, entomologists, epidemiologists, biologists, physicians, veterinarians, behavioral scientists, nurses, medical technologists, economists, health communicators, toxicologists, chemists, computer scientists, and statisticians.

Top Employers in the Metro Atlanta are: Delta Air Lines, Emory University / Emory Healthcare, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., The Home Depot and AT&T. Atlanta provides the stage for connecting the who’s who in business, and other like-minded business professionals, along with the movers and shakers in multiple industries….

Including several National and International companies which are headquartered in metro Atlanta, including seven Fortune 100 companies: The Coca-Cola Company, Home Depot, United Parcel Service, Delta Air Lines, AT&T Mobility, and Newell Rubbermaid. Other headquarters for some major companies in Atlanta and around the metro area include Arby’s, Chick-fil-A, Earthlink, Equifax, First Data, Foundation Financial Group, Gentiva Health Services, Georgia-Pacific, NCR, Oxford Industries, RaceTrac Petroleum, Southern Company, SunTrust Banks, Mirant, and Waffle House. Over 75% of the Fortune 1000 companies have a presence in the Atlanta area, and the region hosts offices of about 1,250 multinational corporations. As of 2006 Atlanta Metropolitan Area ranks as the 10th largest cybercity (high-tech center) in the US, with 126,700 high-tech jobs (Wikipedia)

So, what is there to do in Atlanta, other than Networking, Working and adding an esteemed list of acquaintances to your little black book, while establishing relationships with the Go-getters of the world? I am so glad you asked. Here’s what I recommend:

Image result for world of coca cola atlanta

Photo Credit: Expedia

The World of Coca-Cola: World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place® celebrated its Grand Opening on May 24, 2007. It’s the only place where you can explore the fascinating story of Coca‑Cola® – the world’s best-known beverage brand

Image result for cnn center atlanta

Photo Credit: Curbed Atlanta

CNN Center: CNN Studio Tours provides exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the world headquarters of CNN in downtown Atlanta, GA. The tour started in 1987 and has been growing in popularity ever since.

Image result for college football hall of fame atlanta

Photo Credit: CNN.com

COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME AND CHICK-FIL-A FAN EXPERIENCE: 95,000 square feet. A 45-yard indoor football field. More than 50 engaging and interactive exhibits. A shrine to the greatest to ever play or coach the game. All in the heart of downtown Atlanta.

Image result for fernbank museum

Photo Credit: Mommy Nearest

FERNBANK MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: adventure filled with dinosaurs, live animals, cultural artifacts and hands-on science explorations. Take a walk on the wild side as you explore 75 acres of new outdoor nature adventures.

Image result for georgia aquarium

Photo Credit: georgia Aquarium

GEORGIA AQUARIUM: Georgia Aquarium is a nonprofit committed to inspiring awareness and preservation of our ocean and aquatic animals worldwide.

From boutiques to art galleries, antiques and outlet centers, Atlanta shopping is everywhere. Venture into Buckhead for luxurious Atlanta shopping with upscale malls such as Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza that feature top brands.

Enjoy a taste of can’t-miss American-style cuisine or traditional Southern fare and succulent steakhouses worth writing home about.

Click here, to discover more from ATLANTA

Image result for georgia transit

Photo Credit: AJC.com

Transit includes: Bus, Train & Shuttle –

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA):

Atlanta Streetcar: Began operations downtown in 2014

Buc Shuttle: Fast, frequent, free shuttle service in Buckhead

Georgia Regional Transportation Authority Xpress Bus: Regional express bus serving Cobb, Gwinnett, Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, and Perimeter Circle

Cobb Community Transit: Bus serving Cobb, Downtown, and Midtown

Gwinnett County Transit: Bus serving Gwinnett, Downtown, and Midtown

Originally Published On CafeMom.com

Lifestyle, Parenting

What I Remember Most At Christmas Time

What I remember most at Christmas Time

Family: Long before we came to include Secret Santa, Dirty Santa and Ugly Christmas Sweater parties in our Holiday Tradition, we were just a family of five, who celebrated Christmas Eve together. There was no sign of a gift in sight. We believed in Santa, we tried to stay awake to catch him coming down the chimney and we even tried to sneak a peek to see who’s “really” bringing us the toys we asked for. Mom and dad carried on through the evening as if it were a regular night. And it was, if watching TV and playing games together is still a cool thing to do. However, my sisters and I would awake to find the living room floor covered with a mountain of toys. Granted there were a few there prior to going to sleep, in which we’d tear the corners open, to find out what it was. I remember waking up in awe! Like WOW! Santa really did come…. Because there was no explanation as to how my parents went out to get all this stuff in the middle of the night, wrap it without waking us up, and leave it all there without us knowing. Once you become a parent, you see just how this happens.

Friends: This is when Playing Secret Santa came into the fold, along with Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties. In Middle School, High School and College as well as Post College when entering the workforce, Christmas parties were the thing to throw. Whether it was a house party where punch was on tap, or a company party where we were all required to participate in the holiday festivities (if you celebrated Christmas of course) I remember winning one year at my company Christmas party and after that, I went into high gear and awaited the next opportunity to throw on something ugly. Secret Santa and Dirty Santa was an inexpensive way for everyone to partake in the gift giving process and I have always thought that to be a wonderful inclusion at any party. Celebrating with friends and co-workers aside from family, but in addition to knowing the celebration would continue once you made it home was double and sometimes triple the pleasure!

Food/Drinks: Sneaking a taste of Eggnog! Yup. If you didn’t do it, that’s ok – it’s something I remember as a child and it was the best way for us to find out that we didn’t want to drink anymore eggnog, especially the kind with Jack Daniels in it! YUKK! My dad loves it though and it’s a Holiday Classic drink. As we got older, we learned to mix a few drinks of our own, if you know what I mean. However, still to this day, around this time I smell the spices of that Eggnog. It is a pleasant reminder that Christmas is here. It brings on the nostalgic moments of sitting around the tree, unwrapping gifts and oh, how I love to go down memory lane. While food is always in plethora during the Holidays and especially Christmas time, it has become necessary for me to remember how much weigh I will gain. Therefore, we now take the diet challenge over the summer, because we all remember the food that this time will bring!

Fun/Entertainment: Hanging the Mistletoe, Trimming the tree, decorating the house, hanging the Christmas Stockings, hanging Christmas lights…. Just a few things that I remember most at Christmas time. Not because I loved to do it, but because we had to do it. In fact, we hated hanging the lights and decorating the tree. I cannot remember when we got to the point that we absolutely wanted no parts in doing this. But my dad was serious about his decorations. He was that house on the street who had the tree and lights up the day after Thanksgiving and made it the most dreadful part for us. I am sure that at one point in our youth we loved it. I look forward to doing a tree these days, but I am not too much for the lights. Just takes too much. However, it’s something that I would take pride in doing with my own child. So, Dad…. I get it. I understand it now. Thanks to you and mom for making Christmas one of the most memorable and valued times of the year.

Originally Shared On CafeMom.com

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

When What They Meant For Bad, Turned Out For Your Good, But Now They Mad

Have you ever found yourself in a place where something tragic happened, which turned out to be something as equally good? When it happened, you were devastated on many levels and you could not get your mid around it. You couldn’t not believe the betrayal involved, the dishonesty, the manipulation, the evil and vindictive ways of someone and how their action caused you the friends that were lost, loss of employment, loss of career in which stunted your growth for a while and brought on many hindrances in moving forward in your career by staining your reputation and ultimately demolishing everything you had worked for, achieved and built. Their action caused the loss of your business connections and weakened your opportunities in the process. You couldn’t believe how something so impossible could happen to you. It was downright wrong and no reasonable explanation as to how it could have happened, was in your line of view.

You were in a place that you could not explain it to anyone, and even when you did, they didn’t believe you because it was so impossible that they could not phantom it for themselves. So, in the end, you looked as though you were making it all up. You appeared as though you were leaving something out. You were viewed as the one who was not being honest and forthcoming about all the details of what transpired. This impossible action brought on grave circumstances in which you never thought you would overcome. You were in a place where you could not see the beginning from the end. You were stuck in the middle of just existing in life. It was no way to unravel what had been done.

I bet you never looked at it as GOD’s way of cleaning house. Have you ever heard the expressions, “I asked GOD to protect me from my enemies and I started losing friends?” or “We Plan. GOD Laughs?” “When You Are Down To Nothing, GOD Is Up To Something”

Here’s an example: He got you pregnant and then decided that he didn’t want a child. So, you became a single mom overnight. You still smiled, and it bothered him that you accepted the challenge. After-which, he fought you in court to gain custody and to evade paying child support.

He told you that you would be nothing without him and his money and he added that no man would want (A woman with a kid) He dug deeper into your flesh when he said that you’ve been tarnished because you are now a single mother.

He stood on his title, stability in the workplace and financial status to solidify his claim as the better parent. He won in court.

Now, he has all the responsibilities that you had but he doesn’t like that. He doesn’t want that kind of responsibility. He especially doesn’t want the responsibility if it means more freedom for you.

He told you that he wouldn’t need child support from you if he had custody, because he has all the money- but now he’s not only begging you for child support, but he’s requesting it be raised.

He hated you and called you out for being a single mom, but now he has the burdens that he said no man would want you for; which is that he now dates a woman who has two kids of her own.

He didn’t want to pay child support, but now he see the cost of food, education, entertainment, school, clothes, medical, travel and daily expenses of having a child- but he also has the additional two kids, plus the woman, that he must do for in his new relationship. (way more than he would have paid in child support to you)

He can’t walk away from his relationship, because he used it to show that he had a “stable family at home.” Also, if he walks away or allows her to leave, he will look like a double failure and all the truths will be exposed. So, he must continue to buy/purchase her company to keep her around. He must keep her there to keep up the façade. And he hates it. (This cost money)

He dogged you for being a single mom all to find out that a relationship with a Single Mom, is all that he qualifies for, for himself. SIDEBAR: I am no rocket scientist, but its beginning to look like I am being hated because what he once told me, is happening to him. No woman wants a Single father- unless she’s a single mother herself. So now he has exactly what he criticized me about. And perhaps he has come to the realization that there aren’t many women out there who don’t have kids at our age. Perhaps he realized that those women without kids, aren’t looking for a man with baggage.

He invaded your professional spaces with slanderous statements and libelous actions that caused you to lose your place. He constantly pushed for corruption over your life, so that you would not be able to provide for yourself or your child and he won that battle. But he was not happy to see you smile through it all.

When someone wins everything that they asked for and they still are not happy with the outcome, it is because all that they took from you, was meant to paralyze your faith, steal your smile and cripple your existence. And it may have been the case for a while, but you kept smiling and believing. You found your footing and your bearings in life to do it all over again. You continued to smile and that irked the mess out of those who came to kill, steal and destroy. So, they are unhappy about your happiness and your success and most of all, your existence. Because for them, they know that you get to look at them being unhappy in a situation that was meant to bring you that kind of unhappiness.

You went on to secure a better position in the workforce. You remained grounded in faith and your prayers availed. You realized what the ultimate plan on your life was and how all of this was not in vain. You realized that vindication was not yours. You realized that there’s a reason for everything happening in your life, when all those connections and bridges were cut and burned. You begin to see the path. You went on to find happiness in a relationship with someone who loves your child. You went on to have the freedom and luxury that comes from not having the responsibility of having to look out for a child every moment of the day- While he, inherited the curse that he attempted to place on you.

He ended up with triple the hell from what he stole from you and now he’s drunken with hatred for you. He is feasting on his own insides, as he staggers and slowly fade away.

My advice to you is to remain humble. Forgive him, as you probably have which is why he has no more power over you and you have been able to keep it moving. Keep believing. Never stop smiling. Continue to move forward and trust the slow and steady process. Don’t gloat. Don’t brag. Just wait. Just watch.

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

A Realistic Concern Of A Single Mom Raising a Child Alone

I remember walking into Quest Diagnostics in October of 2010. First thing I noticed was a baby cuddled between a blanket in a car seat, nestled next to a woman. I had no idea who she was because the baby was so young and the only perception I had of someone who’d just given birth, was that she’d be in the hospital for several weeks. So, surely it was not the mother. But who else?

Because I’ve never met a stranger, a trait I inherited from my dad, I began to ask questions. How old is he? 4 days. Is that your baby? How ignorant of me, as I reminisce about how this conversation transpired. “Yes” the lady answered.

I was 7 months at the time. Small chat kept me occupied as I waited in the lobby alongside this lady, that I’d come to know as Danielle. A single mom, who’d given birth naturally, with the help of a doula. Her child, Kingston.

I talk a great deal about forming bonds with other mothers and networks as well as extended support through family and friends. So, I figured it was necessary to tell you about this one that I formed back in 2010. We exchanged numbers and the rest was history. We are still friends to this day and our sons have formed a bond as well. (when they are not fighting like siblings) laughs*

Danielle recently posted a status on Facebook, which caught my attention. It caused me to think about the realistic concerns that we have as single mothers. I have spoken before about the importance of having an emergency contact list, and a POC in cases of emergencies. Danielle’s post was one of those cases where the emergency contact list would come into place. It puts into perspective, what it is like sometimes, to be a single mother.

“When you almost choke on a strawberry and realize your emergency contact most of the time is your 7-year-old son, then you gotta go over “if mommy passes out and she is not playing” drills…You get a true sense of what partnership is. Get hopeful for what you want partnership to be. Get anxious about if you’ll live long enough for your child to survive on his own? Have I taught him enough? Does he know how much I love him? All this crossed my mind in a matter of seconds.” (Danielle) 

After reading this post, I immediately thought back to a time when my son was only a few months old and we lived alone in a Townhome. One night, while I lay asleep upstairs with him next to me, I was awakened by the sound of what I thought to be someone breaking in. I jumped from the bed, pressed my ear against the closed bedroom door to confirm the sound. I did not have a landline in the home and my cell phone… who knows? Why didn’t I call the police? Not sure, as all of this happened in a matter of seconds.

My son was waking up and beginning to cry. He was a colic baby, so I was worried that whomever was in the house, was about to come right to us. I had to think fast. I knew I could not remain in that room and wait for tragedy to strike the both of us. I picked my son up from the bed, wrapped him in a blanket and placed him in a large plastic storage tote that was next to the bed. I placed my index finger over my lips, signaling to him, please be quiet. We locked eyes almost as if we had an understanding. He didn’t make one sound. I partially covered the container, leaving more than enough open for him to breath and see light.

My heart was thumping out of my chest. I grabbed my firearm and proceeded to the bedroom door. I opened it and drew my weapon, ready to shoot to kill whatever was on the other side. No one was there. I walked to the adjacent bedroom. Nothing. Body shaking, I made my way down the stairs. Afraid for my life, I screamed out a warning. I wanted the burglar to know that I had a gun, in hopes that he/she/they would flee. Nothing. Now I am standing in the downstairs living room, where I have full view of the whole downstairs. Nothing and no one was there. I did a thorough check of the house and went back upstairs. I uncovered the tote and there he was just lying there being silent. I picked up my son and just cried.

In telling the story, it seems as if all of this took place over several minutes. However, it didn’t. Everything happened quickly and there was no time to think of a solid plan or to rationalize with thoughts. I had a small townhome and perhaps I thought the odds were in my favor to face the danger, rather than wait on a cop to show up.

After all of this happened, I couldn’t help but to think about the fact that there was no safety plan in place. There was no escape route. There was no plan of action.

Now that our boys are older, she and I have had to somewhat rely on them to be able to act on knowing what to do in the event of an emergency. Being single mothers, this often-times is the case, especially when there is no family around. I have done mock demonstrations with Cornelius, where we’ve staged a 911 phone call on what information he would need to be able to give to the operator.

I have also implemented an exit route that no one knows about but the two of us, where I had to find creative ways for him to know that it should be kept between the two of us. I have posted emergency numbers around the house, and without terrifying him, I routinely go through a safety check, where I have him demonstrate to me that he knows what to do.

Originally Published on CafeMom.Com

Charity, Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

What You Should Be Talking About, When You Choose To Talk About People Word Of Mouth Travels Faster Than A Speeding Bullet – Make It Count

It can be awfully frustrating to learn that people you love and adore, are using their time to “talk about you” instead of to encourage, inspire, motivate and support you in ways that would not cost them a dime. All the same, when you know that if they were to use that time supporting you in the ways that you need them to, that you would be more successful. And in turn, you can do something for the greater good of humanity, by blessing others with your talents, skills, and by being able to financially provide for yourself and your family.

Personally, I think that when you are not contributing to someone’s success, you don’t have the right to talk about them at all. At least not in a negative way. I don’t drive down the street and talk about homeless people, when I have not offered them any food, or when I have yet to ask them if there’s anything that I can do for them or if there’s anything that they need. And I certainly don’t do a drive by, just to determine and make sure that they are still homeless, to satisfy myself. I do not talk about them, because I have not offered them a room in my home. While that may be an extreme example, if you consider that approach, it may ward off any negative conversations that you begin to indulge in, in the future; with regards to other people. If you are going to talk about someone, make sure that you are contributing to their success, or toward sincerely seeing to it, that they are doing well. Here are some ways to be productive on your own

When you know that someone is asking you about the statuses of another person, and they have no good intentions, except but to spread the information they get, around town, you should make it your priority to answer them with something worth sharing, such as: XYZ is trying to start a business and I think they will be tremendously successful at it, with proper guidance and support from family and friends… would you like to contribute? That will shut down all that negative-speak.

I made a mention of this once, during a time where I was filtering friends, to determine who was in the thick of it with me- versus those who were just there for the show. After-which, I found out exactly who those people were. Someone asked me why don’t I just block them. Well, here’s why: Because they are still fans, and fans deserve a seat- just not one on the front row. In other words, they are still a part of the audience. They too, inspire you to write about certain things, which may assist another person on how to tackle similar issues with people who are not there for the win.

Which leads me to the next point, which is how it is sometimes a challenge to pin articles such as this, because your real supporters must read and filter through it. They may get a bad taste, that you are even responding to such behavior. However, I do believe that many people go through this, which is why it is important to address and mention. Perhaps it does challenge growth to a degree. It encourages you to use discernment in business relationships as well as how to find ways to handle such instances, and how to move beyond the wanna be threats in your life. Dear Haters, I still want you to win

While I may “unfriend” someone in life as well as on social media, I don’t block them. I just revoke full access to front row and back stage and terminate their VIP access.

Take their seat away and give it to someone else who will applaud your performance, and offer positive reinforcement. Give the seat to someone who’s interested in being in the front row. Allow the others, to sit in the nose bleed seats. They don’t get to sit down here where the drinks and food are free-flowing and they don’t get the swag bags that are full and plentiful, when they have chosen to neglect the fact that they had full access, when they chose to go sit in nose bleed seats and talk about what they think they can see from afar. Since they act like a nose bleed seat audience, give them a seat in that section, and be done with it.

For those who run out of things to talk about, and get to the point that they feel the need to discuss the affairs of others, take the time to assess how you can be a part of the solution, rather than the problem.

Example: If you know someone who blogs for a living, and their blog is monetized, meaning they are paid on views etc., then talk about that to everyone you know. You should be telling everyone that you know, that XYZ has a blog, and that they should check it out. Instead of sitting around, wondering how much money they are making and if they are making money at all. Invest in them, by sharing their business, with everyone that you know.

Example: Someone owns a dealership. Instead of talking to people about how they may not be selling any cars,** tell everyone that you know that if they are in the need for a car/motorcycle in the near or distant future, that they should consider XYZ’S business.**

Example: If someone you know is unemployed, and actively seeking full time work to support their family – instead of spreading the word about how they lost their job, share the qualities that they have and what they can/will bring to the table to any future employer.** Speak to everyone that you know who may be hiring, and speak positive things about how this unemployed person would be a great fit.**

Choose your words wisely, when you spread other people business. Word of mouth travels faster than a speeding bullet. Make your contribution count.

http://www.workingmother.com/what-you-should-be-talking-about-when-you-talk-about-people-you-know

Lifestyle, Parenting, Uncategorized

What Happened When School Was Delayed For Two Weeks and What I Learned In The Process

I had a remarkable summer with my son. From multiple road trips, to a memorable vacation at Disney world, Universal Orlando and Lego Land. Amidst the summer swim sessions, hotel rendezvous, fun food trials, kickball soiree, movie nights, late night play and site words; it was his first day of school that I was anticipating.

I think I speak for many moms, when I say, this is something that we all look forward to being a part of. At least while the little ones are in grade school. Everything is a first and we document it, don’t we? Well, I do. I want a first day of Preschool, first day of Kindergarten, first day of first grade…and so on. Somewhat of a walking, mom selfie-editorial; with up to 3000 photos stored on the phone at a time. HEY, don’t judge me. LOL. My mom and sisters admire it. My sister has often mentioned that she wished she did it for her son and daughter as they were growing. I could tell you what my son wore when he was 3.522 years old.

I had not seen my son for three weeks, as my extended summer visitation with him, came to a close the first week of August. It was August 24th, when the excitement about my sons first day of first grade peaked. I was I was in Houston, Texas preparing to see him during the parent-teacher meeting originally scheduled for the following Friday. However, the meeting was canceled due to Hurricane Harvey, which produced and recorded historic flooding in Houston area. Subsequently, school was canceled and I was stuck for 13 days. Fortunately, my son was nowhere in sight. He was already miles away, in Alabama, and safe! I couldn’t be mad at all. But at first, I could not understand why I had gone through all of this, only wanting to see my son on his fist day, and would still miss it. But I knew deep down, it was not all about me. So, at that time, it became a matter of planning the best route out of the city, and while it did not come easy- it came later.

In the middle of the storm, rain and flooding, next to safety for all; all I could think about was how I would miss his first day of first grade, since school was canceled and I was scheduled to be out of town when they were tentatively set to begin. I wasn’t worrying too much about the fact that they couldn’t begin, because I knew that it was safety precautions and it was the best decisions for the school, considering the amount of damage to the city, people homes, others being displaced, road closures and impassable highways leading in, around and out of the city. We were all under siege.

When the time did come, where I was able to leave the house and the city, to get to a safe place where living conditions were conducive for survival; my son was still in Alabama. That’s where I headed. I drove down on September 5th, with prayers. The previous two days had been rough and traumatic for me and I was missing my son. All I wanted was a big fat hug and a kiss! It was with hope that I was clinging to, that he would still be in Alabama when I arrived, so that I could lay my eyes on him. I wanted to tell him how much he is loved and how grateful I was to be the mother to one amazing little Prince.

Request was granted. School was postponed for another week, and I could see my son. After everything that happened, I considered myself blessed and highly favored that I survived the storm, and that I ultimately got my one wish, which was to see his face before he started school, so that I could wish him well. It may seem like a selfish wish, seeing how some are still to this day, recovering from Harvey’s wrath, but for me it was something so much more.

It was the fact that things could have turned out so much differently, and I hate to ponder the thought of anything bad happening to him, had he been in the city. It was about cherishing moments that I do have with him and making the best of it. It meant a great deal to me to see him off to school, but it was a greater deal that I was alive and able to. It was a big deal to me that the both of us were safe from harm, and able to continue to create memories together.

It was a humbling experience. I was fortunate to have the means to leave the city and to be in a place where my son would be for a couple of more days. I spent those couple of days with him, prior to today, relishing in the joy of having my son and being happy that he was not with me during this storm. It made me appreciate all the moments that I do get to share with him. In the end, I could see that everything happens for a reason, and that if we trust the process, we will understand it better. There wasn’t one moment that I let him out of my sight. I took in every waking second, filling myself with his eyes. A denied wish to see him in August, as planned, was just a delayed blessing.

Today, my son started first grade. While I did not see him today, I saw him Saturday. I have learned to not panic over having that snap shot of the very first day of anything anymore, but to appreciate that any time I get with him, will be a good-time and is always a blessing.

http://www.workingmother.com/what-happened-when-school-was-delayed-for-two-weeks