“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” Jeremiah 33:2-3 NIV
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”Psalm 37:4 NIV
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..
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.
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.
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,
The last update was when Tamia was her first birthday. She will be two this September. I don’t know what happened looked up and now she’s chasing after me! Man oh man..
I think she started singing before she started talking. Her dad keeps saying she’s gonna be a singer. Her favorite songs are itsy bitsy spider, ABC’s (which she is starting to make those ee uu beee sounds — t u v, ess— x). She also likes twinkle twinkle little star (which I found out was the same melody as the ABC song—children open your eyes to things you never noticed) and Wheels on the Bus. She learned Ring Around the Rosey in daycare. You should have seen my face when I noticed her singing it for the first time.
On top of singing, her vocabulary is expanding. Hot, cold (and the right times to use them), up, lamp (or amp), dada, and MAMA (smiles). Why does mama take the longest for babies to say? I mean, I did carry you and birth you. But it’s cool it was worth the wait. I just light up every time I hear it. She is still using sign language (my grandma got her started) for eat, bath, more, and cup, trying to get her to say those words but I won’t rush. It will come.
We stopped reading to her because it was just ripping the pages in the books. So instead, we found the television of course caught her interest. Little Baby Bum and Baby Einstein are her favorite shows. She sings a long, dances with and gets help with pronouncing her words from LBB while Little Einstein assisted with the sign language. These shows definitely helped with us teaching her. We also try to incorporate our surroundings for recognition. She also likes Pocoyo and was watching Sophia the First (I think this one is more for me as it doesn’t quite grab her attention yet).
Her dad does a great job at helping her to count on her fingers. She is also starting to form those words verbally (fieee—five, teee—three). She also got this reinforcement in daycare.
So if you can recall around this time last yer, I had trouble getting Tamia to sleep through the night. Well as of 2017, something had to turn around. I found myself irritable and confused. At this time, I was just about fed up with breastfeeding because the night time feeding were still happening. Having to roll over four to five times a night to soothe her and put her back to sleep (yes I was and still am co-sleeping) and at this point I was gradually weaning and got up to night time feeding only. Her dad finally stepped in. Thankful that he stepped up and took over for me because—I didn’t have this situation at all). He would come home from work. wake me up to go downstairs on the couch to sleep while he slept with her. There were days he would put her to sleep (how hard that must’ve been for him) and she’d be screaming for a while. I had to put in my earphones to contain myself from going upstairs. He was patient (thankful that he has so much of it—because I didn’t). I caved and went upstairs twice out of that process. I’d say it took about a week for him to sleep train her (without my interruptions) after we got through the kinks, and noticing I was not night feeding so that allowed me to fully wean her. It’s funny how that worked out.
She is a light sleeper, so when I get up, she will eventually get up to find me. But for the most part, she sleeps through the night! She takes at least two naps a day (fighting that second one).
I was on my hands and knees praying for a child with her own mind. A leader. Who knows what she wants. Be careful what you ask for (laughs) but in this case this is a good thing! We started trying to potty train Tamia in December (15 months). That was a no-go. Not only did she wait until she got off the potty to pee on the floor, but I personally wasn’t committing enough time to teaching her. I always took her with me when I went, and still do—or she’ll follow me anyway. But while she was in daycare, she was benefiting as well. Because we stopped daycare and was in the process of moving, we decided to stop the process until after we were settled in the new place because we didn’t know how the environment change would affect everything. On the contrary to what I expected to happen, she immediately started going on her own when we moved into the new place! She signs to us when she has to go, we open the door and remove her diaper (yes she is sill in diapers, but will be incorporating pull-ups soon), will do her business and go on her way. She has had one bowel movement in the potty since we’ve moved in (it’s been a month now) and she actually had an accident on the floor after bath time (accidents are to be expected). But for the most part, she is doing well. We are only training during the day time at the moment. Not sure when we’ll start the night-time. Pull-ups first, then night-time. Baby steps. But I learned that I have a child that does things on her own time so I can’t really put her on a schedule. She definitely lets me know when she needs something…
Speaking of which, she definitely lets us know when she’s hungry. She still loves her water and juice (still iffy on the milk but loves yogurt). She devours fruit but spits out her veggies (will definitely be bringing this to the docs attention come the next visit). She loves potatoes (fried, baked, mashed). She is indeed a picky eater if you haven’t guessed. I made a spring frittata with bacon, cheese, zucchini and squash for breakfast last weekend (recipe coming soon), but she only ate the bites with bacon in it (rolls eyes). I thought being these veggies were soft, they’d blend in with the egg, but nothing gets past this child (again, I prayed day and night for a smart child—and that’s exactly what I got).
I learn something new as I fall in love with this girl every single day I am with her. I love her strong, loving personality. She is the best company I’ve had along my journey. Together we will conquer the world.
One month ago, I recited the first half of this poem to my entire job site— it’s at least 1600 of us.
Understand how nervous I was..
We were originally given until this month to be ready for this, we were told a week in advanced and wasn’t made aware we had to perform it until two days prior. Now neither of us being poets, idk how we got ourselves into this. Actually I do; see my job is split up into three major teams, each major team has about 5 sub-teams. Each major team has to host a floor meeting (entire site) to bring in the month with our new site goals. It’s kind of like a pep rally. Being that we just started doing this in January, the first two teams did a rap. We were tired of those so we decided that we’d be a little different. We did a Showtime at the Apollo edition!
Now Ashley, my teammate suggested someone do a spoken word, now idk how, but one of our managers won’t playing around so she said cool, Ashley is doing spoken word.. wait what? So she wasn’t up there alone, I said I’d play bongos in the background. We had one of our managers bring back Sandman, we had a member of the team dressed as Kiki Shepard, and my teammate portrayed Steve Harvey (laughs). We dropped the bongos, and just split up the spoken word. Of course, Ashley picked the second half so I agreed to do the first half. I was never the one to be chosen as lead in anything, but I said to myself if I’m going to take this acting thing seriously, I gotta start somewhere.
Here is where the BGs came into play, the time came to get ready and everyone performing gathered, we were all talking about how nervous we were, win the Apollo theme music queued, and as we started getting each other hype in line, I smacked a coworkers butt… like the basketball teammate. I was so embarrassed and apologized so many times (we were still in the workplace).
I was like omg, Ima get fired, forget this poem. But after reassuring me it was okay and not to worry. I looked up and it was time for us to go on. Somehow, we got stage names of Afro Centric (me) and Spiritual Flower or something (Ashley—laughs). Steve Harvey asked some interview questions and ..
I sent a shout out to my team and manager who was out on an injury for a xouple of months and just went for it.
It was kind of a blur, I heard some laughs (nailed it)
Some snaps (they’re diggin it)
Then just like that it was Ashley’s turn.
We closed the poem together.. and a whole lot of hooplah
Cheers!! Clapping!! What? You really liked me?! My biggest fear, what had shied me away from acting in the first place, had been overcome. Not only had I overcome stage fright, but I had opened the performance, and was able to put myself in the shoes of the character.. because I am no poet. This was a big accomplishment for me. I even did a little improv, I didn’t read the poem word for word. I made it my own. And I loved every second of it.
Following that performance (which was about two minutes in length), I was getting compliments from people who I worked with in the site who I only seen in passing. The acknowledgement was truly humbling and rewarding. I originally performed this March 16th, and I am still being complimented on this performance. It was small, very small, but the significance behind it, gives me the confidence and the confirmation to believe in God to continue this journey, I am thankful to myself for trusting God to take a step out on my own understanding and failures of my past to give this another try. I know I will not always have good days and people won’t always respond to my performances as well as they did this one. But as long as I believe in my work, that is reason enough to keep moving forward and never be shied away from my calling again. Next step, I need to desperately find some local classes in my area and make time for them!
Ps: I hope you enjoy this anecdote: I don’t have any pictures from the show because everything is confidential at my job (sorry)
The Dialer Blues
Wake up in the morning rushing to not be late
Because you remember tyvann saying ash and Taureenia you have Dialer at eight
Walk on the floor and you can hear a manager saying the money is here
While logging in the phone and hearing
Welcome to avaya scream loud in your ear
Ready to make big money and go on with your day
But Answering machines wrong numbers seems like Dialer just not going your way
Feeling like you’re getting close but your no where near
While you can hear Wall Street and capital hill cheer
You trying to represent for the unit the best team here
But Dialer will have you feeling like press your luck
In your head Screaming no whammy no whammy big bucks big bucks
Finally someone comes on the line ready to pay it all and you see
It’s in someone else flipping responsibility
If you can relate then you know this feeling isn’t new
And you know why I call this poem the Dialer blues
“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.”
“He died for me, so I live for him”.
Here it is!! So I’ll just say, I originally made this vision board in February. With everything going on, I had no motivation (or lack there of) to post anything. Now that I am back into the swing of things, I am giving you guys an update on things that I have done during the first quarter of 2017, one being a many project for my vision board.
This is one of many vision boards for me, but my next vision board— I’d like to incorporate into my new place (Oop! Spoiler alert! Stay Tuned…).
This vision board I kind of drew inspiration from personal struggles and the problems of society. But overall long term goals (financial, emotional, physical, mental) are what you can see depicted below in the slide show I have whipped up.
As I was constructing this vision board, so much motivation lit a flame inside of me. It hangs in my room and puts that much more umph to my tri— get it? Tri-Umph? … Sorry I know, any who, If you have a vision board post, I’d like to see it I need inspiration for the next one and will be sure to tag you in it! Post your link in the comments for me as well as others to see!
I love shopping at Walgreen’s (when I have coupons—laughs). So this came out to be a shopping trip I made last month. I really appreciated my first couponing trip. Remember that tip, using emergency runs for couponing activities? It came in handy this time around.
See, we had a rough March. On top of the normal routine, Tamia and I decided to get sick. Laundry piled up (which sucked because we go to the laundry mat) and on top of that, I ran out of personal items. But I had a choice, I could’ve just not done anything and wallowed in my sick juices, or I could’ve chose to get up and get this stuff out of the way.
Which is what I did— the sooner I get done, the sooner I can get back in bed. Welp, I ran out for some detergent, soap and medicine (we were out of all of those things) and come to find out, Walgreen’s had a few in-store deals *devilish grin*. Did I mention that I use ibotta & checkout 51 for rebates? Well, I do. Here’s what happened:
Checkout 51: I received $1.20 cash back on the halls which I believe were 2 for $4 in Walgreen’s at the time. I have over $20 from cash back accumulated.
Ibotta: I received $2 cash back on the St. Ive’s products which were about $6 for both. I have earned over $40 in cash back using this app.
I’ve learned to incorporate these apps in my shopping experience. A lot of rebates not only on things I already by, but other products I’d like to try. There are even rebates on alcoholic beverages: I found this red wine from Olive Garden in Walmart that I’ve been looking for for years. This was while trying to find a bottle of wine that was eligible for a rebate.
The good thing about Walgreen’s is I believe based on your shopping history when using your rewards card, you will receive coupons for future purchases on the next visit (as pictured above).
Overall, I am quite happy with my shopping experience this time around. I was in control, and I did not overspend. I think I still ended up spending $25 bucks but its better than a regular trip. I could blow out $40 easy. I’m still not as advanced in the couponing, but I’m ok with taking my time as I can easily get overwhelmed. Any suggestions for next time? Let me know!
P.S.: Sign up with ibotta using my referral code below and start with $10!!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.””
Joshua 1:9 NIV