Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Give The Children What They Need, And Put A Little Something Extra In Your Child’s Lunchbox – It’s Time To Go Back-To-School

Image result for food productsA portion of my summer, was spent doing product trials with my child, to determine some of the best items to add to a kid’s lunchbox, or snack bag when school began again. And now that the time is upon us, I am confident that I will not have to be on the receiving end of the teachers concerned phone call or little handwritten note, to tell me that my child “seems to still be hungry, after lunch.”

Imagine how I felt, momentarily… that one time in April, when my child’s teacher reached out to me, via text, to give me a “heads-up.” She said that my child doesn’t appear to be getting enough to eat, and seems hungry. First thought, wow- I have been paying child support and my child does not have lunch? Second thought, who’s packing my child lunch and why were they not giving him enough? Third thought, dads claim to fame is how much money he makes, certainly he can afford to pack a healthy, hearty and wholesome snack and lunch for our son.

Ok, so then I calmed to a normal pace, to avoid jumping to conclusions and to try to understand what was going on. I got a little emotional, because I wanted to advise my sons dad of what the teacher said, as well as, to ask the appropriate questions regarding my child nutrition. However, due to the nature of our relationship being what it is, I walk on egg shells with what I say, out of concerns about how he will take it. For instance: Will he think I am taking jabs at him? Will he think that I am saying that he is not winning at parenting, if I relate this concern?

I paused, to allow the anxiety to subside, and to truly look at the situation, as one that could be an easy fix. Especially with the bottom line being, IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED, and I have no time to sugar-coat anything. I 86’d the above questions and I emailed him. I offered my assistance to find amazing snack ideas, if he had been too busy to do so himself. I offered to price them at three different stores that was near his home, to make shopping easier and most affordable for him. I offered to make the list for Monday-Friday, on what should be packed each day, where to get it and how much it would cost. While my proposal wasn’t accepted prior to the summer beginning, and before school ended; I will be pitching it again this week, in hopes that going forward, it will.

So, anyway, over the summer, during my quest to find something, I came across the following:

Black Forest Gummy Bears

Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears: “America’s Best Tasting Gummy Bears! Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears are made with thoughtful ingredients like lemon juice, organic cane sugar, potato starch, carrot and beet juice. These lovable little Gummy Bears are made with love and feature a taste YOU WILL LOVE. Every bag includes cherry, orange, lemon, apple and pineapple flavors. USDA Certified Organic. Gluten Free.” (http://www.blackforestusa.com/products/)

Image result for clifbar

CLIF Kids Zbar: “CLIF Kid Zbar® is an organic, baked whole grain energy snack, made with a blend of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat to give kids energy so they can keep zipping and zooming along. Our products never include high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors.” (http://www.clifbar.com/products/clif-kid/zbar)

SunButter

SunButter: With nearly three pounds of shelled, roasted sunflower seeds in each jar, SunButter has 7 grams of protein per serving, and it has more vitamins and minerals than nut butter. SunButter provides 45% of the US recommended daily allowance for Vitamin E with no trans-fat and less saturated fat than the leading brand of almond butter.

SunButter is free from the top 8 food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs, wheat, fish, and crustacean shellfish. SunButter is also free from Canada’s ten priority food allergens, which include mustard, sulfites, and sesame.

SunButter is made in the US from locally-grown, specially-roasted sunflower seeds, which are processed in our dedicated peanut free and tree nut free facility. Our sunflower seeds are grown in a region of the country where peanuts are not grown, eliminating the risk of cross contamination. SunButter is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, and certified kosher.

This is not an ad for the companies above. I am sincerely recommending these products, because I have tried them for myself, and because I got the stamp pf approval, from my First-grader. The good thing is, these snacks don’t just work for the kids, they make great on-the-go snacks for the working mother.

Double check the lunch box, making sure that your child has something filling, and of nutritional value. Moms, I am not the mom Nazi! However, sometimes we just need reminders, from other moms who may have heard a suggestion or two from a teacher… and before hearing it in a less than sensitive memo, I am giving you the heads up.

Unfortunately, I won’t get to be the one who packs my child’s lunch box, to ensure that it is done with a lot of extra love to fill his belly. But it is with all my heart, that I hope he’s getting all he needs from it, when it’s time.

Here’s the perfect starter guide:

Fresh fruit.

Crunchy vegetables.

A meat or protein food such as slices of lean meat, hardboiled egg, peanut butter or nut paste*

Dairy food such as a cheese stick or slice, grated cheese, milk or yoghurt.

Starchy food such as bread, a roll, pita or flat bread, fruit bread or crackers.

Water.

Article Originally published HERE, at Working Mother

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Lifestyle, Relationships

The Harsh Reality is, Sometimes You Just Have To Move On. Leaving Behind, The Things That Are Meant To Be Left Behind

To the woman/man who cannot move on from an unhealthy relationship:

Alarm Clock, Coffee Cup, Time Of, Arouse

How long will it take, for you to finally walk away from that emotionally abusive relationship and stop telling yourself that you’re staying for the kids? How long will it take before you scream NO more to the physical abuse and the mental abuse that you claim in the name of generational curses?

How long, before you: Walk Away. Close the door. Stop Chasing. Leave him/her alone. They have shown and proved time and time again that you are not important, they do not love you, he does not want you. She is not interested in a future with you. Stop waiting for signs. There are no more signs. You have received every single sign, that is known to man.

You have exceeded your limit in signs, in that she does not call, he disappears for days, he does not apologize, he continues to hurt you, she continues to dissapoint you, he is unwilling to communicate about anything serious, she does not let you in, he always closes you out. You are a settlement for him. Anytime something that he perceives as better than you, comes along, he will always leave you.

Stop taking him back. Sometimes when the signs stop revealing themselves, it’s because you are beyond the point of a sign. You are headed for the crash. Have you ever seen a sign on a at the bottom of an embankment, after you have fallen off? NO. That’s why you don’t see any signs anymore…. But you know this! Yet, you keep saying, “OK, one more sign then I am done.” Does this sound familiar?

To the Man who won’t let go of an ex-wife:

Divorce, Separation, Marriage Breakup, Split, Argument

How long do you think you can mask the fact that you’re truly unhappy, long as you are still engaging in things that will ultimately affect everything you love and live for? Do you not see how that it has a stronghold over your life?

You have found yourself incapable of living a genuinely happy and healthy life, even though you have all the ingredients; because you can’t let go of the woman who walked out of your life. You can’t let her live her life, without interruption and interference from you- because you can’t stand the sight of her being happy with anyone else or doing anything else that brings happiness to her life.

Yet, you have a woman…you’re in a relationship, you have a phenomenal job, things are going great for you, so the world thinks. And so, you have convinced yourself, that this façade will work for you. When the truth is, behind closed doors, and when your family, friends and girlfriend isn’t looking, you are involved in shenanigans, geared toward bringing pain and suffering to someone else, all because they hurt you several years ago. You are still caught up in the ultimate revenge plot to ruin her life. Stop!

Let her go. Release her. Move on. Give her your blessings. Live your life. Let her be happy. Welcome the new woman and love her to life, giving her everything she deserves, for wanting to love you. Stop self-sabotaging. Stop standing in the way of what your future could have for you. If you continue on holding to a past, by “getting back” at someone, your new relationship will eventually fall apart. She will not stand for it, when she finds out what’s really going on behind her back. If you truly have no concern about the things that your ex is doing, you wouldn’t continue in madness. Show it, by getting off her social media and stop stalking her. Stop looking for ways to ruin her life/career/relationships. Leave her alone, once and for all.

To the woman who won’t let go of her first, who may be the father of her child:

Model, Crying, Woman, Skin, Bra, Lying, Young, Female

How long do you think you can mask your anger toward someone who “left you with a child” after he got the “goodies” long as it’s the same script you keep repeating with him and people that you meet? If that’s your story, fine. But you can always change the end, and in knowing that, you can begin to move away from the part about “what happened.” What you need to realize is, it happened …and now what?

You will never find love, in empty places, or cluttered spaces. You must fill your heart with love, and clean your space of the past and all that has kept you between a rock and a hard place with regards to setting yourself free, from your past. Give yourself back to yourself, and stop allowing the experience from the first relationship or the fact that you have kids together, to keep you in a place of resentment. Stop giving him energy. Get back to being you, the person you were, couple with the blessing that life has given you in the process.

If he has chosen not to be a father to his child, then you just be the best mother that you can be,because your child will appreciate it. Your child needs you to be strong and healthy. You cannot do that, if you’re always trying to teach a man to be a man. You cannot do it, by crying over the choices that someone else has made. You cannot do it by staying in a situation that will hold you down and keep you down. Wish him well, and all the successes that he could ever imagine in life, and just move on.

Let him go. Release him. Move on. Live your life. Pray for him. Don’t’ worry about what he is doing versus what he should be doing. Don’t allow him to steal anymore of your time, by chasing him down and threatening him and the life he lives… it will not bring him back. You have someone who is trying to love you and you need to let them, if you want love. There is life after children. There is life after a troubled relationship, long as you want that life and you are willing to make the steps in the right direction, which start at claiming your happiness.

To people everywhere …

Woman, Girl, Freedom, Happy, Sun, Silhouette, Sunrise

Quit selling yourself short. Where the eff, is your “eff it” switch? When do you finally cut those things off, that are holding you back from a life of fulfilment, with yourself or with someone who wants to relish in the luxurious state of happiness with you?

Article Originally Published Here, at CAFEMOM

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel

5 Ways My Life Has Changed, Since My Son Has Been Living With His Dad: The Pros And The Cons

  1. My schedule is random unless my is visiting on the weekend. When he’s home with me, I provide the stability and the structure as well as discipline that he needs, by following a schedule to keep him on track with bed time, dinner, breakfast, play time, reading etc. It was a schedule that I implemented for him long before he was living with his dad. Now that he’s gone, I sleep in, I eat out, I cook less, and I eat whenever and whatever I want. I take longer naps, make runs to the store at any time throughout the day, no matter how late. I can travel more if I’d like to and not worrying about who would take him to school and pick him up, or even the fact that he would have to miss school. I can take last minute media assignments, make last minute plans, and spare of the moment trips out of town/ in town or even out of the country. Overall, I have free time to pursue many endeavors.
  2. Anxiety: For a while, I had my anxiety under control. I did not experience anxiety on this level at all, prior to having a child. It was not until my child was taken from me, over an accusation, proven to be false; which left me in such a helpless and anxious place. It was because I could not help my child. I could not do anything to give him what he asked for, which was to stay with me. That is when I began to experience anxiety again. The decision on who he would live with, did not rest in my authority. It was not in my hands and no one asked my son where he wanted to be. The reason the anxiety heightened and escalated to the place where I am today, is because over the last 4-years, I became aware of things that were taking place, when my son was not in my care and after hearing so many things, it caused my anxieties to soar through the roof. While most of this, is a thing of the past, it was traumatic for me, and I still live with it, constantly finding ways to cope; reposing in the assurance that everything happens for a reason, and I have seen some of the advantages and blessings come out of it all.

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Teresa

  1. Parks will never be the same: One of my son and I favorite pastime was to go to the park. We discovered just about every park there was, in the city. We settled on two, to call own, which were closest to the house. I spent many flex-days there with him and while he would play, I caught a spot under the tree. Today, it’s hard to drive by those parks. It’s hard to sit in those parks, work out, run around or walk around those trails. It’s a real challenge to be there, if other children are there. I have been in a place, where I couldn’t watch the other kids play, without breaking down. Though I am getting better with regards to seeing other children, I have yet to overcome the anxieties of going to those parks without my Bambino. When I do have him, we still make the most of our time. I found another park to create memories at, until the time comes…
  2. Insomnia: In other words, I cannot sleep at night…. Literally. (due to the anxiety) At times, I have been up 48 hours straight. That had a lot to do with the anxieties as well. Constantly worrying about where my kid was, who he was with and if he was OK. I had been fed some things by the Amicus on our case, in which she thought to be disturbing. Naturally, it disturbed me at that point as well. For 4 years of constantly hearing more and more, I was finding that my nights were getting longer and longer. Time passed like molasses. I would lay down with every intention of sleeping, but couldn’t make it happen. Still, to this very day, I have nightmares, terrible dreams that wake me from my sleep, where I fall to the floor and pray that my child is OK. He may be doing terrific! And that’s what I hope, but until I can get over the thought of anything happening to him, I will be woke.
  1. I have more Me Time: Me time has showed to be my best friend. It’s A time to get back to me, and focus on improvement. There’s always room for improvement, right? And since I do have severe anxiety and insomnia, it gives me the opportunity to work on getting myself back to a place, where I am rested, refreshed and refined. It allows me the time I need to “talk” about why I can sleep, why I have so much anxiety, why I stopped traveling as much, why I don’t leave the house as much, why I can’t sit in the park and watch other children play, or why I cannot do anything about what has transpired, but that I can find ways to cope with it. Me Time, gives me the space and time I need to do my make up again, do my hair again, celebrate myself again, in all that I do. Me Time helps me get back to the business of this empire and to pamper myself, heart, mind, body and soul. Me Time has encouraged me to get out of the house and to get active in the world again.

Article Originally posted Here, On Working Mother

Lifestyle, Parenting

Here’s An Idea To Help You Get Into The Back To School Groove. Shopping can be made fun, for you too.

Moms, I get it. It’s back to school time and it’s all about the kiddos. It can be an arduous task. So, let’s make it fun, by including ourselves. You may be in receipt of the Back to School items list that your child will be needing as he/she enters the next grade of excellence, another year closer to graduation. But! Don’t count yourself out, in all the action. There are some wonderful deals that you can take advantage of, as you shop for those items for the kids.

Here are 3 Ways to Prepare For The First Day Of School

Why not spruce up your work space? Make it more lively, fun and vibrant. Here are a few recommendations that I found at Staples. While you are online or in-store looking for Crayons, Wide Ruled Paper, Composition Notebooks, Washable Markers, Kleenex, Glue and No.2 Pencils; for every item, that you get for your child to go back to school with, think about one that you could also use for yourself at the house as well. Keep in mind, the faxing, printing, filing and organizing that you will be doing. Take advantage of the deals that are being offered, while you’re shopping. It’s the best way to save time and money, by getting it while you can, when you can, all at once. Speaking of organizing, let’s start with Staples

Work from home? Need some new office supplies? Need some helpful items for the home, to use such as wall calendars, chalk boards and dry erase boards? All these items can be used interchangeably, for home work reminders, chore reminders, and all other simple reminders that you need to jot down as you leave the house to drop the kids off, or just to remind yourself of something that you need to do, before they arrive back home.

Don’t forget to check out Weekly Ads section as well as Daily Deals Use the Auto Restock at Staples, to make life a little less of a hassle – now that you have way more to think about, as summer ends and school begins.

Article Originally Published Here, At Working Mother

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Here’s why I don’t always post in real time, and a must read, as to why you should think about it

Simply put, I don’t always post to social sites, using real-time images or information. Because, I don’t want to and I don’t like to. This is because I have had the unfortunate pleasure, of being cyber-stalked and harassed beyond belief; in which it carried over into my life, causing an array of problems.

Consequently, I had to abruptly come to the realization, that there are people in the world, who are trolling your social media sites, just to find out where you are and what you are doing, at that very moment. What’s so terribly wrong with that? Especially when that is your line of work. Well, nothing. Except one very important thing. Their intent is not always pure. They are not always there as a sincere and genuine fan of your work, supporter of your work, or someone who wants to “follow” you. It’s to “collect information” a lot of times, and the motives behind doing so, are ill-willed.

Once I realized this, I used it to my advantage. Beginning a few years ago, I decided to give those roaches the run of their life, leading them on a roller coaster of “Where the eff is she really at today.” If I could have just seen their faces, when I’d broadcast 3-4 different events that I would be attending, all of which began at the same time; only for me to never appear at either, but rather, end up somewhere else, altogether. Then I shared it on social media the following day!

It worked in my favor, because I quickly realized that when I did not post anything about what I was about to do, my stalker had no time to strategically and maliciously make phone calls ahead of time, to those establishments, organizations, businesses or companies; for which I was working press or organizing an event. Whereas, prior to me becoming aware of what they had been doing, they were combing my social media daily, to find out where I would be, and what event I had planned. They would make phone calls and in a few cases, send emails to organizers, in an attempt to sabotage my work. They would feed them garbage, to slander my name and assasnate my character.

Fortunately for me, I had a few real ones, who notified me of what was happening. I was perplexed, as to why someone would stoop so low; both being highly educated professionals, with higher degrees of education and licenses for the work they did. One of which was an attorney, Houston based- who was extremely obsessed with everything I did from day to day. He made his life and career at that moment, about what I was doing, daily.

He and his accomplice went so far as to have me “fired” from Examiner.com and Modern Mom Blog, which I wrote for in 2013; by stating that I was a criminal. Did they do any research to find out the truth? Unfortunately, no they didn’t. However, many months later, the truth was revealed to me through an insider. A lot of companies, and in this case, a blog site, will take the word of someone they feel is a “credible source” such as an attorney. GO FIGURE. Arguably, the biggest liars known to man, is somehow seen as credible. But the truth is, when you throw around legal jargon with lay people, making threats to sue them or put them out of business, unless they fire one of their writers for talking about things that are happening, in their personal life ….it works. At least in those two cases it did. You don’t do a criminal background check to write for these blog sites, so how weird would it be for them to suddenly and randomly ask for one, without a reason, right? (which I would have gladly given if asked and informed) So, the easiest thing to do, is for them to just wash their hand and back out of an affiliation with you, when something like this occurs. Especially in the case of Modern Mom, where you have a well-known celebrity, as the owner.

IMG_1637When I began to write for other platforms, I took the smart approach. I decided to get in front of the problem. I went directly to the editors from that point. I informed them as to what was going on, and prepared them for what to expect. I also began to speak-out about it in my blogs. I disclosed to editors and owners, how I was being stalked, harassed, and sabotaged. I detailed exactly what was happening and why, once I realized who was at the core of it. I related that these two obsessed beings, were so enthralled in destroying me, that they were making calls, sending falsified letters, erroneous documents via mail and email to companies etc., using scare tactics to get me fired and to discredit my work.

Two platforms agreed to allow me to show them, with creating false campaigns, just to sit back and wait for the villains to make their move. It worked like a charm. One after the next, we were knocking them down and laughing in the writer’s room. Their efforts were relentless. However, after one last attempt at another site I was writing for (a site I shall not name) they ceased fire. Obviously, the editor did speak about it in a not so tell-all, kind of way, taking a diplomatic approach, I was able to figure out what the conversation was all about. I am happy to still be a writer on their platform today.

Here’s what I want you to take from this: This may be a story about how two extremely boring individuals, equally yoked in bitterness, malice and sadness, who had nothing else better to do, tried to destroy me and perhaps still are. But it can happen to anyone. Perhaps not to this extreme, but I will say that I didn’t think it would be this extreme either in the beginning. So, you just don’t know. I had to think about the fact that I have a small child, and at any moment, he could be with me on any one of my escapades, having an enjoyable time and we could have been ambushed. When people go the lengths that these two individuals went, you can’t trust their next move. It’s also a testament to the fact that, not only street thugs, gangsters and low-life people pull this kind of stuff. In fact, they don’t usually have the means or resources. It takes skill to do what these two individuals did. It took someone knowledgeable enough about the law, the script to use when scaring off these companies and causing them to raise a brow at me.

Fortunately, I found a way to make it work for me early-on. But unfortunately, it took a couple of lost assignments and platforms before it happened. In hindsight, I harbor no feeling of hostility toward those companies, as I know they were in between a rock and a hard place at the time, in trying to maintain confidentiality with their “credible source” and myself. In the case of blogging, we were not bound to any agreement. And that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Everyone doesn’t have good intentions, and I consider myself to be very astute to that fact now. Especially, since I have learned of so many others, of which this has also happened to. I’m consciously aware that all people are not good people, so in my line of work and in my day to day, I have found a means to deal with it. I continue to mix it up every now and then, just so that I can keep them guessing, while I keep on moving!

#IamNotReallyHereAtThisMoment #IWasHereInAugust #ThisIsAnOldPic #ImPostingThisSoThatNoOneWillBeAbleToStalkMe #INeverWentToBeverlyHillsHotel #IDidNotEatPizzaLastNight #WheresNiedria #IBetYouAreWonderingWhereIam #IRefuseToLiveInFear

Article was originally published on CafeMom, at Here’s why I don’t always post in real time, and a must read, as to why you should think about it

Lifestyle, Parenting, Travel, Uncategorized

Dear Readers, Lets Get This Basic Stuff Out Of The Way

I do solemnly swear to bring you content from the most interesting and not so interesting parts of my world, that everyone and no one at the same time, would possibly want to hear all about, to include: Past, Present and Future hopefuls, as well as those that didn’t make it on a brain numbing reality show and stories which wouldn’t possibly make it to a theater near you, anytime soon; due to extreme language and content that has placed it on a (what to do with this) list, until a rating can be created for approval of its release.

I will also do my best to see to it that the sentence that precedes this one, is the last run on sentence that you will ever read again. If I fail, charge it to my head and not my heart. No, actually charge it to the University that I graduated from. It wouldn’t be the first time they billed me for an education that has yet to equal the pay I made in Corporate America.

It is my humble desire and number one goal to make you happy, smile, laugh, cry, relate, and never be offended. Should you find something offensive, read it again, until you realize that I am not smart enough to offend anyone and that there’s a strong possibility that you over analyzed it and read it all wrong. If you are still offended, then please accept my deepest condolence in advance, for your dead heart. I mean, my deepest and most sincere apologies, for it is never my intent to make you think outside the box. Should I find myself in a position where I cannot share anything exciting, I will make it a point to mess up along the way, just so that I can show you that I am perfectly imperfect and extremely apologetic for being so. I’ve found that to be an excellent crutch and makes a great fall back plan in life. In fact, I am writing a course right now, titled: 101 ways to completely overrate your failures, so that sympathy will get you a good grade.

This is my first time on the Mommy-Merry-Go-Round, so I will depend on all of you to pick me up after the swift turns have thrown me from the ride, discombobulated and confused me. But only after you’ve had a good laugh about me being oblivious about “what just happened”. The contingency here is, so long as you assist me back to life, you have the right to laugh out loud.

Every day is a tryout. In my world, the ten-step program is learning to count down to one, after my child has asked me, why? more than 10 times in 20 minutes. I have this thing called MB, Mommy Brain – was diagnosed with it on December 24th, 2010 and I have had it for 6.5 years. Well, 6 years 5 months and 12 days and I was told that its malignant, invasive and uncontrollable, but that I will live – and I will live with it for the rest of my life. When I use big words out of context, it’s because I have been entertaining a kid who seems to be smarter than me, and it’s just my desperate attempt at assuring and affirming to myself, that I am still intelligent.

It is my intent to balance the universe, by showing you who the real wonder women are in the world and what our costumes look like, even if it does include an apron with words “All I Need Is Wine, stitched across the front.

You are going to see days where I walk in a pretty high stiletto, because I can’t find the other one, and other days, I will be seen in sandals or flip flops. There will be days where I simply don’t feel like wearing any shoes at all. I have flaws, but all of them are flawless. My little dirty secret is that I own a large Beauty Queen Crown.(A real one) I purchased it for myself when I turned 39 last year, to remind me that I am Queen. At least in my castle. I can’t say that too loud because I don’t want the beehive after me.

I will do my best to lead you blindly, under my classic old maid frames, which are in dire need of replacing. I hope to connect with like-minded people who also mess up this thing called life, on a daily- just so that I can be reminded of how extraordinarily normal, I am.

Should you agree that I live a very boring life, I invite you to call me so that you can tell me all about yours. If you follow, I follow back. If you lead, I will follow. If you follow, I will turn around and ask you, where are we going?

Disclaimer: I realize that there are commas in the above manifesto, in places it shouldn’t me. I realize that it was random and all over the place. I realize that some people never made it to this disclaimer.

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

6 Things A Writer Is More Than Likely To Have With Them At All Times

Note Pad / Journal and Pen: As a writer, I can attest to the fact that sometimes thoughts will hit you while standing in the crowded line at the neighborhood grocery store, while purchasing Broccoli for the evening, to cook along with fried corn and steak. Your inspiration can come from anything as small as seeing a toddler crying in the store, a customer dispute with the store manager, to the smell and aroma that’s chasing you down from the deli, all the way to the car that almost hit you, as you were leaving the store. People always ask me, where does my inspiration and ideas come from.

It’s really this simple: I am already inspired to write, I remain in a constant state of being inspired to write, because I love the art of expression. The only way that I know how to do that, is through writing. My ideas come from anywhere and from anything. Every day, there’s a story to be written. I keep my note pad ready for those moments. I jot down ideas as they come and even if they don’t make the final cut, I don’t throw them away. I save them, and often find myself back on that page, building from that thought when and if have a momentary block. I have been known to pull off the road, just to write an idea down or to complete notes and bullet points I want to cover once I begin to write about it.

Camera: They say pictures are worth a thousand words. I think they meant to say, photos can be worth a million bucks. Because sometimes that “money shot” is real! Aside from being in the right place at the right time and having the once or twice in a lifetime opportunity to be the author behind that money shot, having a camera allows you to capture moments that you will never be able to reproduce. That may be your child swinging on the swing, taking a leap into mid-air and landing on his feet. It could be your child taking on the monkey bars, backwards or making rocks jump across the lake. It could be spare of the moment, candid photos that will last a lifetime, in which you can share with readers, who are then able to see the event that you attended, as something worth attending for themselves next year.

It may be at an outing, where you’re having the time of your life and you want to share it the next day, but words could never describe the fabulous time that you had, whereas a photo, nails it. Candid photos also make great talking points and writing prompts. You can present a photo and ask readers to give you their rendition or version of events of what transpired that evening. In this, comes inspiration, because everyone’s answer may be different, and it may spark an entirely different article or blog post for you. Plus, it increases engagement.

A Snack: Because we all like a little protein snack while we are on the go. Truth is, while we are fed very well at events, sometimes we find ourselves talking the entire time and forget to eat. Between events, especially when you get to the point that you schedule yourself for 2-3 different appearances or editorial assignment, which are happening back to back, you don’t have time to stop for food. The lines are too long at the drive thru’, the traffic is too thick to get off the freeway and chance being late or even a no show, so you need to have something in your purse that will carry you from point A to point B.

Plus, it’s an excellent idea anyway to have an extra pick me up to rejuvenate yourself, refresh and hit the reset button before arriving at the next event. As a writer, you may end up at the park a little longer than planned because you found something inspiring to write about, after meeting a mommy of 6, who’s recently widowed or divorced, who just made a move to the city. And because you don’t want to interrupt that stream of thought, behind your belly rumbling, you will tank yourself that you had something right there to snack on. People always ask about writer’s block, and while I have only experienced it once or twice in the last 10 years, I can say that the reason I don’t deal with it now is because I never stop writing. My thoughts lead me. If something says write, right now, I don’t put it off.

Calendar/ Planner: Keeping a calendar and planner keeps you on point. It prevents you from double booking yourself at an event, or for any programs, tours, conferences or workshops that you have a desire to attend and take part in. If you have reached out to tourism bureaus and PR companies about events, it’s an innovative idea to write it down immediately, upon approval to attend, so that; Number 1. You don’t forget, and number 2. You don’t end up somewhere else, when you should have been at the event you obligated yourself to. A calendar and planner keeps you organized and if writing/ blogging is what you want to do, organization is a must when it comes to attending events or taking on press trips and Editorial assignments.

Plus, it puts things into perspective to where you’re able to see deadlines, to make good on your promise to companies to provide them with reviews and or ratings of their product and or services. It helps you plan accordingly, not to take on too much. You do not want to tarnish your rep, by forgetting or not delivering in a timely or promise, because the competition is thick. There are other writers out there waiting in the wing for an opportunity like that. Don’t mess it up, by not having logged it from the jump. Forgetting does not send the message that you take their brand serious or that you’re responsible enough to handle an assignment.

Cell Phone /Recorder: This is because sometimes it is not as convenient to pull off the road and jot things down. You may also be in a position where it’s better to record your own thoughts and ideas, versus writing them down for later review and consideration of a topic to write about. You can use a recorder as a sounding board Listening to yourself helps to break even with what deserves a title and what goes on the back-burner for a later date.

As a writer, there’s also many opportunities that may arise where you have either planned to interview someone or the impromptu opportunity arises, and you always want to be prepared! Cell phones also offer the option of easy posting. If you have something that is worth sharing in the moment, whether it’s in conclusive with an all-out article / post or the picture that’s worth a thousand words to let your audience to #StayTuned, A cell phone with wi-fi capabilities will help you achieve this.

Tablet/Laptop: There comes a time when you spend countless hours at your local coffee shop or lounge, conveniently located at the entrance of your subdivision; where all the notes that you’ve kept on your recorder or the notes that you’ve jotted down all week, in your journal will need to be transferred or transcribed into a post.

Everything you have done all week to accumulate thoughts and ideas, will not be front and center, ready for a place on your writing list. Is it a book, a chapter a book, an outline, a post, a blog, an article, a thought that will inspire an outline for a story? Whatever it is, you now are face to face with your tablet or laptop and it’s time to get to writing. What are you waiting for?