Moving Mountains in 2015

18 12 2014
stolen from a friend's facebook page

stolen from a friend’s facebook page

Around this time every year, people tend to get really reflective. They start thinking about the good and bad they’ve been through during that year. They wonder if they did enough. Made enough of a difference. Laughed enough. Lived enough. They sometimes look forward to spending time with family and sometimes look forward to being alone (away from all the chaos).


I definitely look forward to spending a good week at home in New Orleans with my family. It gets crazy. It gets loud. And I’ll probably gain about 5 pounds. But I’ll be home with my peeps doing amazing things like hopefully watching the Saints play their way into a playoff berth, sentimental things like putting up Christmas decorations while singing all the songs from the Jackson 5 Christmas album, and silly things like rolling around on the floor with my godchildren, cousins, etc…

But even in the midst of all that, I’ll be working on some of the goals I’ve already made for myself in 2015. I’ll be pushing forward already on some things I know I want to accomplish, because I know without my works, my faith means nothing.

And since I believe my faith has grown over the past year, that means my works have to step up to the plate as well.

To that end, I have a laundry list of things I’ll be working on. Not to the point where I burn myself out, but to the point where I know I definitely won’t look back on 2015 with regret. And it’s not that I have regrets for 2014; let me not make it seem like that’s the case. By all accounts, 2014 has been a good year for me. I got a promotion at the beginning of the year. I’ve traveled around the country (a lot). I’ve spent a significant amount of time with some of my favorites in this world. I saw 3 really close friends get married in person (one in which I was in the wedding). I had an amazing 31st birthday. A lot started coming together for the book I’m working on. I’ve dated (some good and some bad lol) and was finally honest with myself about the person I really wanted to be with. I mean, it’s been good!

It’s just that I know, despite the things I’ve accomplished, there have also been a few times where I let my doubts stop me.

A few times when my doubts created mountains that I then had to move when they shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

I didn’t have a phrase for that until earlier this week when I saw the above meme on a friend’s page, and it hit me like a lightning bolt. What I can’t do, what I won’t do, in 2015 is allow my doubts to create mountains in my life. That’s my resolution. That’s the overarching theme of the laundry list of my goals. Because listen, some of these goals are scary as all get out, but that’s what makes them so amazing. And that’s what’s going to make 2015 the year of mountain moving in my life.

Do you all have any goals you want to share for the new year? Any reflections you’ve been thinking of lately? I probably won’t have any new material for the next couple weeks, but I wish you all the happiest of holidays and the best new year to come!


Holiday Gift Ideas for New Relationships

16 12 2014


The other week, one of my favorite readers left the following comment: “You should talk about holiday gift ideas for men. That’s usually hard to do when it’s the first year you’re together and on a budget!”

Well, A) she’s absolutely right! It’s super hard to figure out what to get your new boo for the holidays. But also B) I was sadly mistaken that I’d already done a post about this. Nope. The horror!! And you all know how much I love a holiday blog post, so that’s kind of crazy. Alas, I’ve already talked about whether you should get a gift and things to do with your relatively new boo during the holidays and what I’d want (lol), but never suggestions on gifts for someone else.

Me: What’s a really nice watch you would suggest someone get a man for less than $600?

Friend: Oooh, let’s see: Movado (bold line), Boss, Burberry… wait, who are you buying a $600 watch for?

Me: Ummm have we met?! Not anyone anytime soon lol. This is a question from my sister.

Friend: Oh okay, just checking.

Me: Yea, she’s been in a relationship for 3 years now. So she’s bout that life. I…. have not and am not.

Friend: lol good… but back to these watches…

You see how quickly that conversation went left for a bit? It’s because my friend knows that there’s level to this ish. Y’all, please don’t think you should be out buying a $600 watch for someone you’ve been dating for 3 months. That’s not how this works. (That’s not how any of this works.)

However, if you want to get that special someone a gift and/or you checked out the diagram I featured before on the site, and it says you should, then here are some suggestions I have for you (and just your luck, I’ve had my fair share of new relationships around the holidays):

Keep it small and cute, but show you’ve been listening

One of my first adult relationships during the holidays involved a fella who loved cookies. So what did I do? I baked some for real, from scratch homemade cookies using two ingredients I knew he liked (because he talked about them a lot): chocolate and pecans. They were a hit! They weren’t that expensive to make, but once I wrapped them up nicely, tied the plastic with a pretty a bow, and placed it in a cute cookie tin, he was absolutely gaga for them. In fact, he talked about them for years afterward. Total cost? Less than $15. Look on his face: priceless. Your idea doesn’t have to be homemade cookies, but it can be something that doesn’t cost a lot, but that he talks about often. Maybe he likes a particular cologne or a Wii game or has a favorite football team — listen out for clues and then go for that!

Go for something DIY that he would like, not you…

Okay, this is for my DIY girls like me — Pinterest can be your best friend during this time. But don’t get too fancy with it and forget who the gift is really for here. My best DIY suggestion? A coupon booklet of cheap/free activities he can ask you to do later on. A) it shows you want there to be a later on, B) it shows your creativity, and C) the items should all be things he’d want to actually do, so he’ll be excited. Possible examples include a home cooked meal, a massage, a free zirbert (yes, I put that on there lol), you rooting for his favorite team at least once (especially if you don’t normally like them), etc…

Try an activity you can both attend

Do you both like go-cart racing? Or a specific band or artist? Maybe you’ve both mentioned seeing a particular Broadway play? Why not get two tickets to whatever that activity is so that it’s a gift for him, but it’s still something you can do together. This gift is also versatile, so it can be tickets to something worth $10 each or up to like $100, depending on just how “new” the relationship is.

And if all else fails, and you’ve already introduced sex into your relationship…

Tape a big bow on you, and enjoy a different kind of present with each other.

That one is pretty self-explanatory lol.

Any other suggestions?? I hope these helped for all my newbies out there! Happy holiday shopping!

Cute Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day on a Budget

14 02 2014
They've got the right idea for Valentine's Day. Photo:

They’ve got the right idea for Valentine’s Day.

It’s Valentine’s Day!!

And while you guys know I’m all about the holiday (well, any holiday really, but this one too!), I’m also for staying within your budget for it as well. So whether you’re in a new situation and just don’t want to spend a lot of money or you’re dating someone who is all about the “simple things” or you just don’t have the money to spend $100 on flowers — I’ve got some ideas for you to still show your boo some love without breaking the bank.


Decorate your place with some cute, corny Valentine’s charm

A few years ago, for a guy’s birthday, I bought one of those Happy Birthday decoration packages from Party City and decorated his room with streamers and balloons and the like as a surprise. It cost me all of $10, but the happy look on his face when he walked through the door certainly showed me that the effort was appreciated.

You can definitely do the same for Valentine’s Day, either through the package route or buy choosing to decorate with your own flair, say with some petals and candles, etc. Either way, this definitely won’t cost you that much but it’s sure to put a smile on your boo’s face when he/she sees it.

Dinner or dessert at home

I think when most people think of doing a dinner at home, they probably think of a candlelit dinner at the dining room table. And you can certainly do that, but if you’re not careful — you can end up accidentally spending more money than you anticipated. What I suggest however, is something a little more low-key, like an inside picnic or if you’re lucky to have a fireplace, maybe even a fireside dinner on blankets. What says romantic like a low-lit home, some homemade smores and a fireplace crackling in the background?

Go Old School/Creative with your gifts

Okay, follow me here. I love flowers and some types of candy, but you know what I would really love from a guy? A mix CD of songs he knows I love. That tells me that a) you’ve been paying attention to me when I talk about the music I like, b) you know how important music is to me, and c) you’re willing to think outside of the box and get creative. Now, this may not work for everyone because some folks don’t own CD players anymore, but I think gifts like this are a great nod to the old school side of us. Find the thing that your boo likes that harkens a bit to the past and he/she is sure to be pleasantly surprised.

That’s all I have for today, but what are some suggestions you all have to celebrating Valentine’s Day on a budget?

PS: Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Girl Talk Podcast RECAP + Updates

20 12 2013

Hi loves,

I know I’m a little behind on the latest Girl Talk Podcast (trust me, you’ve let me know lol), but I figured now would be the perfect time to post all of the ones that have come before in case you haven’t had a chance to catch up on them. Don’t miss classics like, “Emotional Booty-Callers and Terrorists” and “Let’s Talk About Cheating,” or even our very first installment of the Aijuswannarant segment on “This Ish Just Aint Gon’ Work.”

Meanwhile, Erika, CJ, and I are in talks to get the next one posted early in the new year, and I hope you’re just as excited as we are about it. Plus, don’t forget that you can catch all the episodes on Girl Talk Podcast Itunes page as well, for free.99!

On another note — I’ll be taking a couple weeks off for the Christmas holiday and New Year, but the blog will be back up and running on Monday, January 6th! So this is the perfect time to not only catch up on the podcast episodes, but also on any blog posts you may have missed.

Merry Christmas/Happy Kwanzaa/Happy Holidays to you all and don’t forget to come back in the New Year!!



Tips for My Future Husband – #16

18 12 2013

Help me decorate our place with Christmas cheer

“Hang all the mistletoe, I’m going to get to know you better… And as we trim the tree, how much fun it’s going to be together… And this Christmas will be a very special Christmas for meeeee.” – Donny Hathaway/ This Christmas

I love Christmas. I think that’s probably clear by now if you’ve been reading this blog for at least a year. It is, in fact, my favorite time of the year. Sure, I love birthdays and most holidays, really – but there’s something special about Christmas for me. People tend to go out of their way to be nice to each other during this time. Most folks take care to really embody the spirit of giving during this time more than others. You get to see folks’ (especially children) light up when they open their presents. Families come together all over the world and spend quality time with each other. It’s just a magical time.

Well just as much as I love the Christmas spirit and season, I also love the decorating aspect of it too! I mean, I really enjoy it. Every year, no matter what, my decorations are up no later than the first week in December (sometimes by Thanksgiving eve) and don’t come down until at the earliest January 6th. And I take great care to place the items exactly where they will help me create the feeling I want to walk into when I get home. I mix store bought items with DIY crafts, I plug in my warm apple cider Glade plug-in for the season, hang my mistletoe, hang the bows and berries and flowers all over the walls, and most importantly, I trim that tree to the gawds.

As you can see, I have no qualms with doing it on my own. I turn on my Christmas music playlist, and if you peaked in, you would probably see me dancing around in my undies while sipping eggnog and skipping through my place checking to see what else could use a bit of Christmas cheer. But the times I’ve decorated with others, like with my baby sister when she would come in town or with friends who have come over to help, it just brought about a completely different feeling in me. So, I can’t help longing for the year that future hubby and I can decorate together some days.  It is an image that brings me joy just thinking about it.

Now, before you roll your eyes too hard — take a moment to picture what I’m describing. Can’t you just see us? Making our way through our home and hanging the stockings with care. Singing Christmas carols to each other as we laugh our way through the few hours it takes to transform our house into a massive Christmas experiment? Spiking our eggnog right before I change into one of my lovely Christmas lingerie sets?? I can, and hopefully future hubby can too. It would kinda suck to still be decorating the house on my own if he’s there as someone who can readily participate.

Tip: How to Shoe-Shop for Someone Else

13 12 2013

Now that it’s officially Christmas-time, many people are in full swing gift-shopping mode. And if you have a shoe-lover in your midst, you may just be thinking of getting her a pair for Christmas.

Well, before you do, make sure you check out these next few tips. I certainly have been gifted with shoes before that I never wore, not because I didn’t appreciate them, but because they were either too small, too big, or wouldn’t go with anything I wear. So that you don’t put your person in that predicament, here are some tips to consider before spending your coin.

Know her shoe size — Yes, many women have more than one shoe size. For example, I wear a size 9. This will work with any pair of flats and some heels, but my feet are the opposite of narrow so for a lot of heels, I try to get a 9 1/2 to give my feet extra room. This is especially important if you’re attempting to buy a pointed-toe heel — you don’t want her toes to get squeezed into that little triangle.

Not all women have this problem, though. Some have very narrow feet, so you have to be aware not to get anything that will slide off as she’s walking. In addition, some shoes run big or small, and since she’s not there to try on the shoes you’re considering, just make sure to consider all of these factors before buying the shoes.

Know her general style — There’s nothing worse than opening your box and seeing a pair of shoes that you would never, ever wear. So check to make sure she wears stilettos if that’s what you’re thinking of buying. Or if you’re considering getting her a bright color, check to make sure she’s not usually in black or brown pumps.

Getting her something a little out of her comfort zone is good, but you don’t want to come off as if you don’t know her, right?

Try to make sure she doesn’t already own that pair — Now this may be a little difficult if she hasn’t shown you her shoes closet, but that’s what her girls are for. They will probably have a better idea of what she has already and what she doesn’t have, and if you’re one of her girls — then heck, you got this one already! After all, it’s highly unlikely you’re buying someone a pair of shoes if y’all aren’t close friends or dating/significant others, right?

And finally, as always — Have fun with it — Get creative. Gifts are all about the thought behind them, so don’t stress too much about whether she’ll like them. If you followed the first 3 steps and you put some thought into it, chances are she’ll love the gesture and the shoes.

Anyone you all plan to go shoe shopping for this Christmas? And if so, what tips have you used to help you?

A Guide to Holiday Gift-Giving: Revisited

27 11 2013

It’s the day before Thanksgiving (Heyyy! Happy Early Thanksgiving!!), and whether you like it or not, this pretty much means you’re probably in full swing gift-buying mode for all your friends and family. I’m sure many of you will be hitting up your favorite online stores, malls, outlets, and more in the next coming weeks all to find the perfect presents for the people in your life.

But what about if you’re dating someone, trying to date someone, in serious like with someone, etc?? Do you guys need to exchange gifts? Well, if you’re in one of those situations and you’re trying to figure out what you should do, never fear! A couple years ago, I posted a very handy guide to gift-giving from How About, and I figured some of us might need a quick refresher on the details.

Check out the post below and let me know what you think. Are they right? And do you have someone you’re thinking of getting a gift for this year? Do tell! Also, please enjoy your Thanksgiving! I hope it’s filled with lots of good food, family, and friends. Ciao!

Holiday Gift – giving Hooked on Phonics

Remember when I was asking you guys the etiquette rules of giving Christmas gifts with guys you are casually dating? Well, if only I’d seen this flow chart last year, maybe I would have avoided sending homemade cookies to a guy I was no longer talking to a couple months later. recently came up with a quick guide to decide on if you should give out a gift for Christmas. Check it out and let me know what you think.


Originally posted December 14, 2011.