QOTW

If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.

-Audre Lorde

Gift Unwrapping 2016 + Update

I’m low-key excited about sharing my gifts I received. Wonder what will be in store for this year?

A new purse: I was in desperate need for a new purse. The straps on my burgundy handbag from the year before were about to break! Sad I buy as I need, but this year my goals were to be more receptive to my personal needs. So thankful for that and I love nude. I used this as my everyday bag, and you guessed it! Time for a new one. *Adds to Christmas List*

H&M Gift Card: We did secret santa at my job and the way we did it was to choose three things you wanted, and our secret santa got one of the three gifts. I chose gift cards from B-dubs, H&M, & the movies. I am so glad my coworker chose the H&M card. I budgeted to spend $50, only spent about $35 out of pocket. Such a blessing!

Harry Potter Series: *exhales*. So if you have been following since the beginning, you can recall my Book Haul I shared for Blogtober, I said I’d read this series for the fall and into the winter (it’s seven books). Sad to say I was not able to save and get them and have not made it over to my local library with transitioning jobs and the holidays, I just decided to watch the movies again. I am so thankful I received them as a Christmas gift because I was planning on ordering them because I had the extra cash. Sadly, I never finished the book challenge I made for myself after starting my full-time job I work now. I think I’ll start this back up again in Blogtober or maybe in September (Blogtober was hectic). That plus a cup of hot cocoa and this book should be fun *so excited*. Expect some reviews..

Erin Condren Planner

So if no ones ever told you, ask and you shall receive. Well, I wanted this planner, and knew I couldn’t afford it, but am determined to use this as my aid to plan my New Year, so I made post on Facebook, asking for one because I need it. I got a few, “they are expensive”, and “they’re on sale” posts, which kind of pissed me off because that’s not what I asked you. I know how much they are, I am thankful for the sale heads up, because my aunt in New York, who I still have to meet, inboxed me later of a screen shot of a confirmation screen!

I haven’t used it since I moved. I still have some boxes I need to unpack. Reading this reminded me that I had it. See how time changes things? I need to pull this out now so I can get back into a routine. This definitely helped. Going into this second half of the year, as a matter of fact *goes through box of books*.

How are your gifts holding up?? 

Jay Colby covers: Finding Yourself vs. Creating Yourself

For many years the concept of finding yourself versus creating yourself has been a topic of discussion. This concept comes from a famous quote by author George Bernard Shaw “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating you”. Finding Yourself Many times when the topic of finding yourself is usually referenced to a “young […]

via Finding Yourself V.S Creating Yourself — Jay Colby

Mid Year Check-in: Second Half Goals + First Half Recap

June, I’m glad you’re gone.

While I feel like I did a lot, I also felt like I didn’t do a thing.

No, let me not say that because I worked my ass off. I had a good month work wise. But in doing that I realized that I had no time for myself. Actually this entire first half of the year, I did nothing for myself. Multiple failed attempts at working out, no new adventures, no new habits formed. It sounds a little sad. Let me not say that either..

I moved and learned a lot on my job, and I finally applied to University so I can finish my Bachelor’s. Just waiting on the decision letter.

Patience is what I learned this first half of the year. Moving too quickly can cause you to miss out on things that matter, beneficial aspects of the journey. Finding peace in waiting is what it is all about. Going back and reviewing everything you already did you ma find you missed something or could’ve done something better. It’s all a learning experience.

You have to forgive me if I sound a little blunt, straightforward or just plan rude. I honestly believe it is the birth control I’m on. My emotions have been strong and I have been meaning them.

I find myself at a plateau in life. I know what it is I want to do, I do the research, but make no plans to implement them. Why is this? Any psychologists/life coaches out there with some free info please don’t hesitate to comment a tip or two.

Moving forward, the year is not over yet. It is the second half and I still have time to turn this thing around. So these will be the basis of my goals for the rest of the year and what you can expect to read:

  1. Meditation + Prayer (Mind & Spirit)
  2. Cardio + Strength Training (Body)
  3. Clean Eating + Detox (Body)
  4. Learning (Intellectual Stimulation)

The first half I am not too worried about but I do wish I did more. It is a blessing however, to have the mind set of a new day. Everyday I wake up, I start over. I remember the past, but I try not to let it determine my present or future.

How is your year going? Let’s get some motivation in the comments.

First Try at Ribs!!

1 rack of Baby Back Ribs

Lawry’s: Seasoned Salt

Great Value: Organic Garlic Powder

Trader Joe’s Smoked Paprika

Great Value: Organic Hickory BBQ Seasoning

Mrs. Dash: Salt-Free Original Blend

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Clean thawed ribs (I removed some of the fat), then season however you like. I don’t really eat ribs unless they are off of a grill (or unless my grandma cooks them. She insisted I take a rack and they were halfway thawed so I said why not.
  3. To mock that grilled/smoked taste, I rubbed the smoked pap and hickory BBQ on it first, then the seasoned salt, garlic powder, then the Mrs. Dash. Baked for 30-40 minutes (my grandma said 30 but, I did 40 and they still came out fairly well. She also said to use tenderizer, but I didn’t have any so..

Came out delicious, I guess it was all in how well I rubbed in the spices because it tasted like I marinated the ribs over night.  For my first time making ribs, I did a good job. As you can see I don’t have actual measurements for how much seasoning. I am able to measure just by looking (I can obviously tell when enough is enough).

I know that is something I need to work on and I don’t normally eat this heavy. But everything in moderation right? But I do like well seasoned food. In other words, I like to taste my spices and seasonings in every bite. I guess I had a sweet tooth, because after they were finished, I added a hint of brown sugar on top and took the left over oils from the bottom of the pan I cooked the asparagus to coat the brown sugar to I guess caramelize into the ribs. I didn’t taste the asparagus on the ribs at all.

I sauteed asparagus in olive oil, salt, and pepper for about 5-7 minutes.

I also baked corn on the cob provided by my grandma (she provided this whole meal minus the asparagus— found that in the fridge). That recipe I got from pinterest.

The cookies were prepackaged from Walmart, Tollhouse brand I believe, also amazing! This meal was great and if you try it, please let me know how it turned out in the comments.

Bonus Tips:

 

  1. I heard Gordon Ramsey say fat’s only purpose on meat is to help maintain flavor while meat is cooking—it should be cut off and disregarded after cooked (steaks and ribs for example).
  2. My grandma said spraying over your ribs after seasoning them helps to keep them from drying out while in the oven. Indeed she was right!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!

I woke up on Tuesday morning to 101 followers via WP and 1,086 email subscriptions!

I thank God so much for helping me to rediscover blogging as it has played an immaculate role on my journey.

The more time I spend on WordPress, the more I am able to improve this blog.

I am so thankful for all of the love and support that I have gotten since I have started this blog over a year ago.

I remember a lot of you who followed in the beginning, helping me navigate through WP because I was so lost (laughs). I have even gotten to know a lot of you all. This, being the best part of it all. Being able to connect!

Watching my views and content rise, along with followers and views from around the world, this has been nothing but a blessing. I am indeed, humbled by this experience.

I could thank you guys all day, but I will keep this short.

Expect more content (trying to perfect it all before I post it), and additions to lifeoftf. I’m even looking into some collaborations (definitely leave a comment if interested–I spoke with a couple of you all in the past).

Thank you again to my followers from day one and to my new followers, welcome.

God Bless You All.

Until Next Time,

t.

Embracing Womanhood: Life Update

Writer’s block sucks.

With today being exactly a month since my last post, I had to let y’all know I was still breathing. But if you follow me on social media, then you already know I’m doing fine. This is what’s happened:

I finally moved!

So on 4/29, I signed a new lease and downsized from my townhouse to a furnished garden. Even though I lost a lot of space, I gained a lot of amenities. one less utility, a new washer and dryer, and updated kitchen and bathroom, swimming pool, fireplace, two full bathrooms, quiet neighborhood, and cheaper rent than the last place. Can you say a blessing? Thank you, Lord. Trying to get settled in and ensure I left the previous place on good terms is what took up most of my time.

I think my truck finally gave out on me.

After over drafting my account to fill it up, unnoticed it starting to struggle to start. In my mind I was like, “…watch the starter go out…”. Surely enough, after getting home from work one night (thank God I made it home), the next morning it wouldn’t catch. I have been out of a truck for the past three weeks now, and while my dad says he’s found a good deal for me, I’m just not ready for payments at this time. I mean yes, I moved to save on bills and get caught up on the current ones. Not to add another one and a higher one. Insurance, payments, and the maintenance makes me nervous. But for some reason I have that meme in my mind where Jesus is trying to get the little girl to give up her teddy bear in hopes that she will trust him, but she loves it. In the meme, he has a bigger one behind him, but won’t reveal it to her until she lets go of the one she has..

(in just typing this, I realized I’m hindering my own blessing— *calls dad*).

Embracing Womanhood:

So I have been thinking about how I view myself for a while now. I never really discovered my femininity (or essence that makes me feel like a woman). For instance, I’ve been a tomboy since as long as I can remember, the girl next door and have been referred to as the mom or grandma of the group for as long as I can remember. And while there is nothing wrong with it, mentally I’m starting to feel that way. To the point where I’m physically starting to feel like I’m senile. I just see myself going down a bitter road because of it. So, I looked myself in the mirror. Heck, I’m 23. I want to start feeling like a woman. I started watching YouTube videos on how to get started in wearing makeup, more hair tutorials and the like, well… I’ll make a separate post about this.

Mommy Adventures:

I’ve been trying to maintain a good work-life home-life balance. I think I have been doing quite well with that. I am back to cooking and meal prepping, as well as starting to get some AM workouts in at home.  On top of that I am trying to make sure I maintain an active relationship with my daughter. Having so much to do during the week, it’s like I barely see her. So even if she is up when I get up in the morning or going to sleep later, I try to remind myself to make each moment an enjoyable one. As a matter of fact, I haven’t done a baby update since she was 6 months, stay tuned for that too.

Finances:

Moving into a new place at first is expensive but as I get settled in, I can see the expenses decrease. This will be a gradual change but I am glad I am finally moving in the direction I want. I had to put a halt to the envelope challenge. I hope to start this back up soon. I still participate in my rebates but haven’t been couponing. I am currently trying to familiarize myself with the new area I’m in, so I can start shopping in new places.

Look forward to New Content:

Can you believe I am still unpacking after a month in? With the smaller space, I’m still trying to figure out how to place everything. A lot of things just don’t go with the place. Definitely look forward to a furnished tour (this will probably take a few months because I want it completely finished—I didn’t think to take pictures of it unfurnished because moving day was quite stressful—there maybe a post on that craziness). Also, going into more details of this post is a separate post about my journey into make-up and how that is going for me. Baby post is definitely in the works. Also my current YouTuber list is in the works as well (maybe my own channel…)!

Well, that is what’s been going on. Oh and I made a snapchat. Still trying to figure it out but bare with me. and my social media usernames have changed from olesoulbynature to justsayt (instagram & snapchat) & justsay_t (twitter). So feel free to follow me there for more updates.

Until Next Time,

t.