Month: February 2020

9 Areas You Can Cut Expenses To Save A Dollar Or Two

If you been following my blog you know that I’ve been on my Dave Ramsey ish for a while now. I’ve been really making a conscious effort to gain financial freedom and saving has been a big part of my journey. It’s helped me get out of debt and invest into myself. It’s given me more freedom and security, both of which I’m obsessed with. The piece of mind in knowing I now have options has relieved a lot of the stress in my life I used to have.

Money is important. It affects everything in our lives.

Money effects your attitude, your family, your marriage, where we live, who you associate with, and what you can do with your free time. The more I learn about money the more I get to help YOU. I’m forever trying to learn and grow. It’s a bonus that I get to help y’all out so together we can live our best lives because having freedom and options is much more fun then stressing over the affects of not having enough money.

Budgeting isn’t easy. I want to support and guide you if I can. We get comfortable living the same broke thinking lifestyle that got us into debt and forget we are the masters of our universe. We can beat our financial struggles if we budget accurately and live within our means. I call it thinking broke on purpose. It takes learning to have contentment because money isn’t everything but it is a down payment for happiness. It takes guts and a whole lot of self love to stay disciplined enough to save when we’ve been programmed to be consumers and spend, spend, spend.

Manage your money don’t let it manage you.

Here are a few ways that I’ve been able to save a dollar are two:

1. Cancel memberships and subscriptions. You don’t need Netflix, Hulu, Firestick and Disney Plus. These subscriptions are great alternative to cable but will only save you money if you on have one. No point in giving up cable if your going to just buy every subscription known to man and pay about the same price. The goal is to save isn’t it? Also, that gym membership your not using cancel it. That makeup subscription let it go. You have enough. All those, small subscriptions fees add up so if you aren’t actively using them or need them get rid of them.

2. Electricity. Find out your electric company’s peak time and devise a plan to only use what you need by unplugging appliances you don’t use regularly. Choose to read or play games over watching TV. Go to bed early. More sleep is always needed. Use fan instead of the AC. Turn down the thermostat. Also, I know state to state varies but look into what programs they have to get utility assistance or sign up for any rewards programs.

Rule of thumb if it has a light on it’s costing you money.

3. Phone bill. Phone bills suck but phone are one of those things where it doubles as my computer too so it’s a non negotiable for me. It has to be paid. I do a lot of business on my phone so I need a good cell phone provider and a smart phone but for other members in your family consider comparing group plans for cheaper prices or cheaper phones. Phone bills add up quickly and one of the reasons is because you could be paying for services you don’t use get rid of them ASAP to get your phone bill down.

Another way to cut your bill down is going with phone company’s like Cricket or Boost Mobile. These companies offer services for a lot less. They are ideal if you only have basic needs like sending texts and making phone calls which is perfect for small children. They typically don’t need a IPhone or the latest Samsung Galaxy they just want to play games and watch YouTube.

4. Eating Out. Sometimes cooking food at home requires a lot of time that some of us working moms don’t have. It’s easier to just slide through the drive thru of your favorite fast food drive through and pick up something for the whole family. It’s best to stay away from restaurants altogether if you want to save some money. Join me on my eat at home challenge.

You’ll save major coins by meal prepping or having knowing what meals you want to cook in advance and taking your leftovers to work. If that’s to hard just pick one designated day that you can eat out like only fridays.

5. Coffee. Moms we are not giving up coffee because let’s face it we need our boss mom fuel. There’s entirely no way we’d be able to get through the day without it. I do recommend cutting Starbucks out of your daily routine. I know people who go to Starbucks multiple times a day and go for for venti or even the secret size trenta.

I have chosen to replace Starbucks with 7-11 coffee and I enjoy my caffeine now for more than half the price of one Starbucks cup. Finding an alternative coffee habit helps a ton with saving. Even investing in a good coffee maker will help you save a good chunk of money too. Give it a try and watch your saving fund go up.

6. Name brand items. We don’t need name brands but we like them. Try using generic products over name brands and see which ones you like. Some you will and some you won’t but most are great. When it comes to food in a blind taste test you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The bottom line is the saving are real.

If your kids complain about the switch trick them and put the generic option in the name brand container or package. Don’t tell them you got it from me though. LOL. I love my labels just as much as the next but unless I catch a sale, have a discount code or gift card I’m not paying full price for it.

Consignment shops are a great option for label lovers because you can get gently used name brand items for less. I believe you can make a statement in anything that you wear. Whether it’s from Target or Gucci you make an outfit. I’m a big high low girl. I mix and match what I like and put together great ensembles just fine. I personally think once you learn how budget shop fit name brand items you realize you can still be fly and in fact it’s even more satisfying.

7. Entertainment. Be frugal with your entertainment. You don’t have to spend lots of money to have fun. I love spending time with my kids and finding free activities around my city. My go to place is the library. They seem to always have an event going on. Take advantage of the library in your city, recreation centers, parks and make it a point to not spend money or if you do very little if it. A few suggestions I have are going to happy hour where drinks and appetizers are quite less than dinner. Exploring the outdoors is the number one way to save. Get creative and have fun without breaking the bank. Doing outside activities like hiking will cost you nothing.

8. Shopping. Limit shopping to need vs want. Think about what you really need and if it’s worth spending money that you could be saving instead. If it’s a “hell yes” I absolutely need it to function grab it, but if it’s a “it’s nice to have” but I don’t need it put your debit card down. Every time you get to urge to spend pause for a second and see if you get that same feeling after thinking about after 5 minutes. Usually that rush goes away.

Stay away from Costco, Hobby Lobby, Homegoods, Target or Walmart when your trying to save because those stores will gobble up your money in a heart beat. You’ll go in for toilet paper and by the time the cashier has finished ringing you up you’ll want to fall out from the total.

9. Groceries. Make a list. Only shop with a list. This will help you stay on budget.

Money is really important and you should manage it well. I budget because it has changed my life. By budgeting I’m able to put my money to good use. I’m trying to elevate. I want to buy a house soon. So for me budgeting has helped me get my credit score where I need it to be so that I can get a lower APR and be able to save for a larger down payment to put down.

One of my big goals after purchasing a house is to pay it off and be mortgage free within 10 years. God willing it will happen but I know that it will take a lot of sacrifice which is why I’m starting with baby steps now. I’m trying to change my lifestyle now because I value accomplishing my goals more than I value material things or temporary happiness. Saving money isn’t easy but definitely worth it.

What are so freaking excited about? Why do you want to budget? I want to cheer you on. I believe in you! Let’s up-level together.

#Budgetmommy

#Debtfreejourney

#Budgeting

#Savingmoney

#Financialindependence

#Cuttingexpenses

The Perfect V-Day Gift Ideas For That Special Someone In Your Life

Cards and candy are a given and are expected on Valentine’s Day. Let’s kick it up a notch this year and buy gifts for Valentines that have sentimental value and will be used all year around (I absolutely love gifts that are not basic and I can use pretty regularly) or do activities with your loved ones that create memories that last a life time.

Valentine’s isn’t just another day. Every year I hear people say it’s just another day because they celebrate Valentines everyday-I call bullshit. In my house it can’t be done. We’re to busy with work, life and everything in between that we have to pencil quality time in. Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays we always celebrate to make sure we let our loved ones know they are loved and appreciated, by making the day or weekend of special. That way there’s no doubt the love we have for them.

Of course we date all through the year our kids, ourselves and our significant other because that’s important to keep those bonds strong. Yet on V-day we go the extra mile. If you haven’t put much thought into your plans for tomorrow or this weekend. Here are are super cute ideas to spread the love and keep your love life spicy.

Kids

Valentine’s Day outfit –Old Navy has 40% off Valentine’s Day theme shirts for all.

Build-A-Bear- This is a great idea for younger children or any one that has recently lost a love one because you have the option to customize your bear and even add a voice message to it to cherish for years to come. Also, if you have more then 1 kid they have two furry friends for the price of one right now.

Movies

Dessert- Celebrate your love over a Cold Stone delicious ice cream treat. The fudge truffle decadence ice cream cake has layers of red velvet cake (my favorite).

Him/Her

Dinner and a movie

How cool is this bubble hotel located in Valle de Guadalupe?!

Weekend getaway- Whether it’s requires a plane ride or a getaway at near by hotels or even Airbnb, switch up the atmosphere this Valentine’s Day and make love in a new place. Keep it hot, keep it spicy!

Romantic Dinner at home

Designer Du Rag-I know Designerrag.net has some pretty dope stuff your the fashionista in your life.

Wear something sexy

Jewelry- There’s still time to get jewelry at Kay’s . Don’t have the money now don’t trip they offer 12 month financing. Plus $25 off purchases of $99 or more when you sign up for their email subscriptions. No excuse propose or get a gift your significant other that they can’t stop gushing over.

Boudoir Calender

Personalized Gift- I’m obsessed with The Brand Ave couple sets. They have the cutest apparel for couples to express and show off how in love they are.

Gift basket of their favorite goodies

Paint and sip- Do something you’ve never done before. Check out Groupon they some really good affordable deals for couples interested in doing paint and sip.

Coupon book

Pay a bill

Matching tattoos

Yourself

Massage

Splurge on an expensive item you’ve been eyeing for a while (Purse, shoes, makeup, cologne)

Go out with friends

Hooters -Shred a picture of your ex and if you order 10 wings Hooter give you an additional 10 free boneless wings.

Family

Disney land is always a great idea. Disneyland on Feb 12 or 13 has a Disney AfterDark: Sweethearts Night where they sell limited release merchandise, have special meet and greets, themed food, exclusive photo ops, a fireworks show, special keepsake for attendees or you and bae can dance the night away to a live band or a DJ. Kids can even go to this event.

Heart shaped pizza –Papa John’s has a really good special and shows how much you really care.

Game night

Go to a restaurant -I’m a sucker for a fancy dinner and Ruth Chris has the best steak and lobster Mac and cheese I’ve ever had. Ruth Chris is my go to special occasion restaurant. They currently have the porterhouse for two starting at $129z

Fun activity-K1 Speed is a fun, unique activity for the whole family.

This Valentine’s Day spend some time with your kids. Love is spelled with time. This goes for your boo too. No matter how long you’ve been together a date with him or her is what every good relationship needs. Don’t forget to WOW them. Remind them why you’d choose them over and over again.

This week if your single, date the number one person in your life YOURSELF. This day is not just for lovers. Do something you love. Take care of you.

If you take advantage of any of my ideas please share how the day turned out. I love hearing all you guys responses.

Have a fantastic Valentine’s!

#ValentinesDay2020

#Giftideas

#Lovebirds

#Boo’dup

#Single

I Failed At Those Trendy Milestone Pictures

If you don’t do a photo shoot every month of your child’s first month of existence are you even a good mom?! OMG, it’s ridiculous to even think that way. Being the perfect mom has nothing to do with making sure you get the best shot of your adorable new baby (but you do get bonus points if your able to pull of off *wink*) and more to do with just learning your baby and taking care of their needs.

What mom doesn’t have an iCloud full of candid baby pictures anyways so just because they aren’t perfectly curated doesn’t mean they won’t be appreciated in the long run. Keep snapping pictures no matter what. Capture everything from their first smile, cry, funny face, crazy hair, cute outfit, crawl, or mischief. Document it all. Their first year goes by so fast so don’t ever feel like your ever taking to many pictures. That’s highly impossible to do.

Look at this level of extra. You see how it took a whole team to pull off???

I’ve seen photoshoots as simple as baby on a monthly milestone blanket, milestone sticker, age blocks or even more elaborate photoshoots with extravagant props and costumes beautifully done. How ever far you can stretch your imagination is up to you but if your going to do it don’t have such high expectations of the models because after all they are babies. Be flexible and have fun.

I think milestone pictures are the cutest way to capture the growth of your child’s first year but I just couldn’t keep up. I gave up after the 4th month and I don’t care. I do love the new trend just in case any of you new moms are thinking about it, go for it! I just was preoccupied with my other 2 kids, trying to maintain a social life and just being utterly exhausted. If you fail like I did don’t sweat it though. There’s so many other traditions you can create that may stick.

Let that mom guilt go. Your baby isn’t missing out on anything by not doing the month by month photoshoots since they are purely optional. Also, there is always going to be that one mom that will out do you in your eyes. Give her kudos and don’t think that deeply into it. You are still a wonderful mom, I pinky promise.

Although, I failed I still captured pictures of baby Kalvin’s first year and put my favorites in a Shutterfly photo book. I’ve done this to document all my kid’s birthdays, special occasions and sports activities. It’s easier than scrapbooking and my kids enjoy looking at their books and reading the captions. Visit Shutterfly and make yours today!

#Babysgrowtofast

#Milestones

#Babypictures

#Babysfirstyear

Perifit Review

I was going to post this for TMI Tuesday but my phone was tripping. A day late but here it is. I’m not sure why no one is talking about bladder incontinence during pregnancy and after childbirth and how doing kegal excersizes can help prevent the occurrence but lucky my friends you have me. Let’s talk about what we only usually talk about in our inner circle.

The 411 on your pelvic floor.

I feel like at this point it’s time to add bladder incontinence to the long list of secrets no one tells you about motherhood but you wish you knew before hand. The sudden urge to go pee and how a hard cough or deep laugh will trigger a little sprinkle of pee. It is definitely embarrassing and annoying. What’s even worst is when you experience this in public or at work and don’t have extra undies. Not cool.

As many of you know I work in the dental field and I always tend to feel pressured to hold my pee to stay on schedule. Sometimes it’s nearly impossible and I experience leakage. Yes, I said it I experience leakage. Yes, I’m human just like you. It’s awkward and embarrassing all at the same time even if nobody knows but me.

I had 3 c-sections so I was sure my vagina hadn’t changed to much except for the fact that I always had to use the bathroom. Then you add the fact that I like to drink water because I swear it does my skin wonders to the mix, and that is how the bathroom became like my second home. The faintest sensation that I had to pee was more like an urge. I couldn’t hold it for shit so for damage control I’d find myself emptying out just in case to prevent myself from having to go pee while knee deep in assisting in a crown prep.

I didn’t think there was anything I could do about it until I found a new product on the market called The Perifit. It’s a kegal exerciser that comes with an app. The app features a game that you can play to strengthen your pelvic floor. The more you play the stronger it gets over time.

Flex that muscle, sis.

In 2020, we didn’t get spaceships flying around like in the Jetson’s but we did get the ability to strengthen our kegal muscles while playing video games. Aren’t we ladies lucky? I’m so proud to be apart of this technologically advanced era. It definitely has its perks.

The Perit Fit is way better than those wacky yoni eggs, kegal weights or balls that you’ll be into for like a week then be over it. It’s a kegal excersizer that makes training your pelvic floor fun and entertaining. It’s helped me control my bladder at work and improved my muscle control in the bedroom. Who doesn’t like a product that kills two birds with one stone?!

It’s amazing the results I’ve seen.

Side note: There’s nothing like starting or ending your day with a big fat O. Yeah everyone is to scared to talk about sex and pleasure but not me. If I’m having engaging in intercourse I want to be satisfied too. The Perifit is just what us ladies have needed to take sex to the next level. I’ve been my bae over 15 years and I’m always down to try something new to boost our love life. I’ve been using the Perifit for about three weeks and I’ve already been recommending it for better organisms.

So here’s the scoop.

All you do is purchase the product here. Download the app. Connect your phone to Bluetooth. Relax. Insert the Perifit. Pick a training program. Then, imagine that your pelvis is a muscle like a jellyfish contracting and expanding as it swims.

Disclaimer: I love toys and gadgets in the bedroom and if your not comfortable sticking things up your woohoo then ummmm you might not like it, but for the adventurous ladies like me it’s nothing but a big tampon. It’s super soft, easy to insert (please clean first) and even has a string like one for easy removal.

Don’t worry if it’s awkward at first because the app will walk you through it and even has a few practice rounds that you can manually train before actually getting started. You’ll know your doing your kegals wrong because your Perifit will slide out. If it doesn’t slide out your doing it right and can begin playing once you feel comfortable.

In the game there’s about 5 levels to unlock, different themes and music to keep it interesting. You become a butterfly flying in the mountains collecting coins that look like lotus. To get the coins on the top of the screen you have to tighten your pelvic muscles. To get the coins on the bottom of the screen you want to release your grip and relax your muscle. It’s super simple.

Do your kegals, sis.

My favorite feature on the app is that it tracks your progress. That’s super important to me because I want to know is it working and how much I’ve improved. I started with the stress incontinence and I’ve moved on to intimate well-being. I did notice a difference in where the coins were place and could tell each setting focused on different strengthening methods.

Once your done playing clean off your Perifit and put it back into the box. Just make sure to turn off the battery but in case you don’t remember the app will actually remind you even though it brags that it has a 10 year battery life. LOL. Woohoo to 10 years of no more leakage. It’s common but it’s not normal and we are going to stop normalizing it today.

It’s recommended that you play at least 5 minutes a day or at least 30 minutes a week. Trust me it seems like a lot but for competitive people like myself it’s fairly easy to exceed that. I find myself hitting the play again button a lot trying to beat my last score. Doing your kegals has so many benefits for women. The Perifit is a workout that doesn’t feel like a workout. That’s what makes it so great.

After reading this may your vagina be tighter and your pelvic floor be stronger. Do your kegals! Thank me later.

#Kegalexcersizer

#Bladdercontrol

#Betterorgasims

#Pelvicfloorstrengthening

#Womenshealth

#Betterorgasims

Because Your Worth It: 10 Ways To Pamper Yourself

Self-love is the best love. If you don’t have a pamper routine I suggest you get one. As a busy mom with aspirations it’s important to pencil in self care. Treat yourself. You need to take care of your mental and physical self in order to thrive in motherhood and your career. A little “me time” is necessary. You need to create chill relaxing pamper days to balance the busy chaotic ones or else take it from me, you’ll go loco in la cabeza.

We moms play a big role in our family and have huge roles at work so whenever we can let our hair down without breaking the bank we must do it, and do it often! After all, all work and no play won’t make us any less richer. In fact, a little indulging in the simple pleasures of life give you the motivation to keep excelling in your career. It’s actually crucial for maintaining the marathon mindset.

Also, you don’t always need a lot of money to unwind after a long day or a stressful work week. Sometimes all you need is space and opportunity to put yourself first and relax.

From the comforts of your home to getting out and splurging on the finer things here are 10 ways you can pamper yourself.

10 Ways To Pamper Yourself:

1. Unplug

2. Go to a fancy restaurant

3. Get a manicure/pedicure

4. Have a spa day

5. Watch your favorite TV show in peace

6. Take a day or two off of work

7. Go shopping

8. Have a cocktail

9. Get your hair done

10. Catch up on sleep

There are lots of benefits to pampering yourself. As a working mom the stress factors of working day in and day out can be a lot. Knowing when and how to unwind can improve your overall health. Taking a day or two to regroup and decompress will recharge you.

Being financially comfortable is one thing but at what cost to your peace, your love life and your happiness?! You definitely need to start treating yourself better. What if I told you that you could have it all (The bag and a life we don’t need a vacation from) but it starts with basic self care and then work your way up to pampering yourself because your worth spoiling momma. Plus, you deserve it. If not every two weeks at least once a month make it a habit to pamper yourself.

When your in alignment with your purpose the hustle is real and you can find yourself so focused and passionate about your success that you don’t realize until you’ve burned out that your burnt out. Don’t get me wrong busy is a good thing but after work and on the weekends you need to relax. Pampering yourself helps prevent that burn out.

What ways do you you pamper yourself when you get a chance to?

#Relaxation

#Pamper

#Momswhohustle

#Treatyoself

I’m Black And I’m Proud

I often get the question what are you mixed with because of my skin color and I laugh. I always joke and say I’m mixed with black and more black. I may be lite skinned but I am black and beautiful. I find myself more often than not, afterwards educating other races in the magic of blackness. We come in all different shades and sizes thanks to the “EVE gene.”

The black women is the only organism that possesses the mitochondrial DNA that has all the variations possible for every kind of human being on this earth. Meaning when we mix with any race even our own you just never know what your going to get LOL it’s a surprise. A perfect example of this is when you see a dark skinned African American with blue eyes or a lite skinned African American with red hair like my honey bunny.

I may not look full black to some but I am and I am most definitely proud of my African roots. I Identify as African American, although I don’t know exactly where on the continent my people came from and I’m still extra proud of the impact my African descendants have made on American History. It’s a complex story of how we remain warriors despite all efforts to destroy our very well being or give us credit.

Our resilience is what I love the most about being Black. Black women are some of the strongest loving women I know. That has to be celebrated and is 365 days out the year in my house. I teach African American history daily but during Black History Month we show our pride in our heritage by enjoying African music, wearing loud and proud pro black shirts and learning more facts about our past by watching movies about African royalty or icons.

There’s so much more to our history then having been kidnapped and enslaved that I want to make sure my kids are taught because they aren’t teaching it in school curriculums. It’s sad to say but you’ll learn more from social media about black history than you were taught at school. Therefore, I get my kids to think about what Harriet Tubman went through and understand that Ruby Bridges was just a courageous little girl who made a difference, or how life would be way different if someone from our race hadn’t invented the carbon filament (the part of the light bulb that actually illuminates the light bulb) or the invention of the traffic light. Man, we’ve made some great contributions to mankind.

I also drive home the importance of loving yourself to my kids everyday by telling them they are beautiful, they are smart and they are perfect the way they are. I encourage them to love all their brothers and sisters in Christ but first and foremost themselves. To love their full lips, muscles, hair, complexion and race. As a race we’ve endured so much but had the strength to defeat it ALL! I love my black people. I love our resourcefulness. I love every inch of my blackness and I’m I stilling in my kids to have the same self-love.

Sometimes it’s disheartening the disconnect that Africans and African Americas aka Black people have from each other because we grew up different but the same. There is not black history without African history but because of slavery blacks are not as connected to Africa. I hope to one day to do my ancestry and see exactly where my bloodline comes from. I think that would fill in the gap. It would be cool to just know.

Black History Month to me is for non blacks to know black accomplishments and remind them of our contributions because they unfortunately don’t learn that in their homes or even school. They need to understand our pride, history and traditions. I want to see more people loving our people though and not just our culture. America has a huge case of everybody want to be black until it’s time to deal with black problems. That’s when we see how divided we as a country still is.

If your a black mom encourage your kid to be prideful of their culture and express it in various way beyond black history month to help bridge the gap between the past and the future. It’s our duty. To help us all heal and move on past the injustices. Growth is an uncomfortable process but it’s needed to bring change.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream and in my opinion we still have lots of work to do but with love and understanding there’s hope. Hope that black lives will eventually matter because all lives matter. It’s take a fair law system and all of us to create an atmosphere where we can all live peacefully.

I’m doing my part by hammering it into my kids to be kind no matter race, creed or sexual orientation because racism and ignorance starts at home. I refuse to be the parent that lets it perpetuate in my house. My kids will be the change I wish to see. Join me in the fight I against racism. Let’s be relentlessly.

I’m one of those raw parents. I keep it all the way real with my seeds because I really want them to see the magnitude of their gift of life. They are profoundly fortunate to have the life they live. They have learned by me that they stand on the shoulders of some pretty awesome brave individuals that fought for justice and equality so they can read, write and pursue their dreams. Mine carry the same strength, guts and audacity to influence. I’m raising tomorrow’s leaders. They are history in the making.

#Wakandaforever

#BlackHistoryMonth

#EVEgene

#Black365

#Blackandproud

#Blackandgifted

#Blackculture

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