Plans for Lifeoftf?

I have had a writer’s block and have been confused as to which direction I want this blog to go. I try to tailor this blog to reflect as I evolve. I am at a crossroad. I’ve been contemplating letting this go because I have not been consistent. I pay for my domain each year and I am questioning if that was the right move. I may just drop down a plan until I am able to be consistent and a solid direction has been followed. Right now, I just don’t know..

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5 Books I’ve Read in 2018

Starting Your Career As An Actor Jason Pugatch

If you don’t know already, my dream is to be an actress. While still working on my schedule to free up time to pursue acting as well as raise my daughter, finish school, and work a full-time jobsjfnsjlfnwgwkg!!!#* (so much to do),

I remembered this quote:

“Accept the things you can’t change; have the courage to change the things which you can; and have the wisdom to know the difference.

A friend I met at work who was interested in acting came to work with an improv book and literally told me she checked it out at the library. Something so simple and resourceful, its literally a 5 min drive to the library. So one day I went on a whim, asked to be pointed in the right direction and there! All of my questions answered in this one book.

This is a good reference guide for anyone interested in acting. Whether you’re looking to start, not sure where the work is, tips on finding the right agent and headshots, as well as stories from actors themselves and what they went through. I looked up the actors and the work they’ve done to see if I recognized any, and I came across The Punisher (Jon Bernthal—I love Marvel and Netflix!).

Broke Millennial Erin Lowry

This is for anyone on the road to financial freedom. College students, Parents, teenagers, Young adults, even adults mid-age and older! It’s never too late to get right financially. I actually started reading this book the end of last year, but it was kind of a guide to my financial goals for this year. Erin (the author) is a little (ok a lot of) frugal, but she means well. She speaks on saving, investing (my focus area), as well as paying down debts. She talks about more but these were the areas that stuck out to me. She does it in a way that keeps the reader’s (for us millennials) attention.

Willie Lynch Letter William (Willie) Lynch

For those who don’t know, I am African American. To my fellow A.A.’s, this they didnt teach us in school. Knowledge is infinite and we should always seek it. I RECOMMEND THIS LETTER TO EVERY BLACK FAMILY & INDIVIDUAL. After reading this, I can only speak for myself. But it it a clear picture how we as black men and women move. How we operate, how we think. This letter is about the taming of the black slave. The method used on taming a horse influenced the taming of a slave. I warn you now, this will change your life forever and if it doesn’t make you want to do something about past, current, as well as prevent future events, please seek help. This letter not only humbles me, but it makes me pay attention to everything that I am saying, how I am raising my daughter, as well as how I treat myself and others. After you read it, pass it on. Make others aware.

You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself Harry Beckwith and Christine Clifford

Create a personal library and make this one of the very first books. Personal success, business success, simple communication with others. Read it. You never know what you could be missing. On another note, this book reminds me to remember service. Through service you can reach anyone. I learned mindfulness, and how to speak to others, and marketing tips. I believe marketing can be universal, not exactly selling things but the power of persuasion and networking. CREATIVES THIS IS YOUR GOLDEN TICKET. MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU!

Year of Yes! Shonda Rhimes

If you like Grey’s Anatomy, then you’ll love this. The dialogue in that show is Shonda to the T. To the mothers out there struggling for a personal identity and making time to do it all. Spend time with your children, go on that trip you have been planning forever, take that new job opportunity. Dare to say yes! You will love the outcome. From what I have read (still reading), I have to meet this women—hell, I have to at least land a guest role on one of her shows.

The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self Control  Dr. Walter Mischel

Weight loss, financial freedom, etc. self control is the root cause. I just started reading this after seeing someone post this on instagram about three years ago. Only into the first chapter I feel like this book arrived at the perfect time. I happened to stumble across this book in the library. I had every intention to by this as its in my booklist on amazon prime. Two words, Delayed Gratification. Everyone should read this, parents raising their children (teach them early) as well as individuals (save now, have more later).

This is not my full reading list. I think I’ll post a list of books I plan to get to. What have you read? Like Comment and Share!

Social Media Hiatus: What I learned

It is so nice to be back to blogging. I have to be honest, I have had writer’s block, I’ve been stressed, and this year I started off with a good cry. 2017 was a humbling experience, for in those moments I concluded being comfortable is not the way to live life. Living comfortably makes me live a repetitious life. That is, going through the same problems, experiencing the same things in life, and just being in the same spot. It is still. It is boring. It is not where I want to be. I guess you can call this a little fast.

In the beginning of the month I came across a video on youtube on how social media contributes to depression. Long story short, whenever we log in to social media and see that we have notifications waiting for us, it is a shot of endorphin (that happy hormone that we can attain through a good steady run). As humans we need to stay active, but we also need human contact as well. Now because we are in the age of technology, both of those needs have been stunted. While the benefit of convenience comes from social media (not having to get up and travel to see anyone), we lack in several other areas of our life which is now taking a toll on our overall health. Instead of physical and mental benefits of attaining a runner’s high from a nice jog with a friend (social benefits), we rely on a notification or like from people we have not seen in months or even years to reaffirm that we are indeed being thought of. And when we don’t receive a certain amount of likes or a response in an efficient amount of time, we question our self-worth.

For those reasons, and allocating my time in a more productive way, is what led me to leave social media for the month of January. January being the beginning of not only a new month but a new year, I noticed I start my new years off disappointed. I spend the last week and a half of December planning my year and setting my goals and when the new year comes, while starting can be hard, the hardest part is being consistent. A lot of the reason is because I find myself comparing where others are in their journey to where I am. While this can be motivating, it is mostly depressing for  me personally. Social media accidentally puts me in this position a lot of times. There were a couple of things I was able to do in this month:

  1. Reclaiming My Time: not only do I have a daughter to care for, but I am a student and also pursuing an acting career. I also have financial, mental, and physical goals I wish to achieve. And while I have social goals, social media is not the only place I can enjoy a conversation. Killing two birds with one stone has always been important to me ever since I learned what it meant. Working smarter, and not harder allows me to complete tasks quicker and allows me more time to relax with my family and pursue my dreams (that’s all I really want to do).
  2. Focusing on my Studies: Without having a planner (I still need to get one, but the one I want is expensive), I have been able to allocate my time efficiently to my classes and complete my assignments early. I have also learned how to further engage with my classmates (who said online classes are boring?).
  3. Networking & discovering new things: I have gotten around to doing things I said I would and with that I have met some new contacts! I met a real-estate agent in the salon through talking about God. I was also finally able to finish reading this book (review coming soon) and by the end of the book, I found more resources for auditions—I’ve been looking for this information for a year.
  4. Learning from my environment: I was able to watch those around me in their phones and see how robotic and uniform we look as a whole. There is something unsettling about that. Not being able to hold a good conversation with those around you because of the lack of knowing how to. I can’t really blame this mostly on social media but social media does not help the situation either. While social media raises our awareness of what is going on in the world, why not have a conscious discussion face-to-face versus in an online forum?

While there were some benefits to not being on social media, there were also some challenges.

  1. I was a little lonely: While I have interactions with my family and coworkers, I still felt disconnected because a lot of people were in their phones. But one of my goals were to be in tuned with myself and to focus more on me.
  2. Missed out on news: I only have internet, so I had to log on for the news (weather mostly) or if I needed to contact someone. I did get side tracked and found myself scrolling, but I immediately realized that I wasn’t missing anything and was able to log off and get back to schedule.
  3. Motivation: I get a lot of my motivation from bloggers and instagramers (fitness and diet). It was hard to find motivation in myself to upkeep my fitness and diet goals, but it is what I needed. Learning to lean on myself, finding my strength in my weaknesses were the goals.

I overall believe this was quite beneficial. I can see myself doing this during the work week with social media during the weekends or nonconsecutive days on social media to remaining consistent with promoting my brand and staying connected, but remembering to look up at the world right in front of me is more beneficial. What are the pros and cons of social media for you? Tell me what you think in the comments. Here’s to reconnecting and catching up,

I’m back!

T.

Hiatus: Life Update

Where Am I Now

If I could sum up my life as it is right now in one word— Growing Pains (and that’s two words..)

Everything is happening to me at once. I have been put  into positions where I am forced to grow, to change my normal way of doing things in order to move forward. I am being forced out of my comfort zone to reach my full potential. I guess I thought I could just go around that and hope people see this amazing person that I know that I am and that is dying to be set free, but I have always stepped on my own shoes. As the days go by, I learn something about myself. I have been so confused about what my problem is exactly and to be honest that is hard to answer. I never knew where to start which was frustrating. I have started off small. Things that I noticed about myself that bothered me I ask myself if they are really that bad. So bad to the point where it was affecting my well being. If yes, than I had to be consciously aware of this and to catch myself and force myself to go into another direction. Okay, maybe not force but slowly make moves to break these habits. For example:

I compare myself to others and entertain their opinions of me. 

This is a complicated one for me here. But not really. I am constantly around people. Work, Social Media, Online classes. Constantly working towards the approval of everyone else of my performance. Constantly maintaining a certain standard and putting my best foot forward. Trying to be perfect when in fact, no one is even paying attention to me.

I speak a good game but it’s easier said than done. 

Quote of the Week 

I’m gonna add another goal to the second half of this year as I have been lying to myself and trying to fake it until I make it. Learning to love myself for who I am (I have flaws as well as my highlights). We all naturally insinuate our strengths, but sweep our weaknesses under the rug if we can’t address them.
I have big dreams. I maybe leading off as if what I am about to say sounds like it intangible but the reality is this: most don’t make it, though few do. The difference between the some from the few? While both have a come-to-Jesus moment in their journey, was what they did about it in the end. Most allow their circumstances dictate their next move, their reaction, their outcome. Few in that moment, change their way of thinking to mold that circumstance to work for them getting them a step closer to where they want to be.

I feel for that to happen, I have to be completely honest with myself. Which I’ve never been.  So I need to add one more goal to my Mid-Year Goals. I officially claim this Self-Love journey I’ve unknowingly been on. Step one: Recognizing & Accepting the things about myself I can’t change. For the things I can change, plan & execute.

No one can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself.

-James Russell Lovell
Until Next Time,

t.

Trying on Make-Up!!!

Hi there! So if you haven’t already, check out my Make-Up Haul + Review! This is my first attempt in applying my own makeup. I practiced filling in my eyebrows and the cat eye/winged look with the eyeliner.

Eyebrows

Either I’m just heavy handed or I just need to clean it up with the foundation and or concealer. I think it looks like a lot to because it’s just the brow pencil on my unfinished face. Expect another post with the foundation (still have to shop for that) and concealer. I think I’ll do one more with just eyeshadow instead of fitting that all in one. I’m looking for some tips and more tutorials for easy ways to fill them in. I watch Shirley B. Eniang’s videos on how she fills hers in which I love. While I think I get her concept, I think I am just too heavy handed and am looking for more videos for different ways to achieve this minimal clean look. Anyone you reference? Leave it in the comments.

Cat Eye/Winged Look

I was a little heavy on my right eye (your left). But overall I think I did good. 

Umm, yeah that’s it for this one. I will keep practicing so I can do this in less time. 

Over all I think I did pretty well for my first try. With a lot more practice and tutorials I will be a pro in no time. I don’t feel confident enough to wear this out in public just yet but I think whether I am ready or not I have to get past this perfectionist mentality. I can get as close to perfection as I can but I’d be waiting forever. A little more practice though.

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think!

 

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.

Baby Update

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..

Talking /Learning

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.

Nightime/ Breastfeeding

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).

Potty Training

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…

Diet

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.

No Seeds of Doubt Will Be Sown, Not This Time.

As I was reading through content discovering new bloggers, I stumbled across a post I found to stopped me in my tracks: method acting can be used to boost my confidence.

The author of this article explains that before taking on a role, the actor studies [thoroughly] that particular character and asks readers exactly how much time we spend studying the character we play in our own lives? I immediately thought, there is nothing to study, I was raised this way, but this new train of thought in me begged to differ. I was reminded when the author of this eye opening article said while yes, we are influenced by our environment (parents, peers, etc.) as children, When we are adults, they immediately stop, well, most do and really its more like the commands stop and the suggestions roll in. I could not help but to agree.

Immediately after I turned 18, I became an adult. My mom switched up so fast. At first I was afraid, and felt like a magnet. I thought I needed her advice, her input, and her blessings. I did still feel this way up until I moved out. Someone who I am very thankful to have in my life constantly till this day opened my eyes to this. I went from feeling paralyzed in a certain mentality to “I’m every woman, it’s all in me” by Whitney Houston state-of-mind.

As I reflect, I have come to realize how much I have allowed my environment to influence my internal perception of me. While some things I am learning to overcome day-by-day, others I still internalize.

Growing up, I spent my entire life earning the approval of others— people pleasing. And for that reason I haven’t found much enjoyment in my life. Overthinking and rationalizing why I can’t pursue the things I really want in my life. Always wondering how I am perceived when I say or do certain things. Constantly comparing myself to other women and downplaying my attributes. This is one of the worst ways to be. It wasn’t until the end of my junior year in high school that I started to break out of this mentality. I was becoming a senior, and unlike the previous three years, I was the head and not the tail. It was freeing. I think in adolescence, status quo is a powerful thing. Senior year, everyone was preparing for adulthood. College, job training, whatever that next step in life was, everything else didn’t matter.

 

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I knew what I wanted and was determined to get it. Senior year kind of opened my eyes. Things don’t always pan out the way you imagine them to be. This feeling, I know all to well. Degree first, married next, then babies.. I’m starting to think I had this backwards.

To be continued..

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It’s done.

i-did-itI finally bought my domain! I decided on it months ago, I was just hesitant about upgrading (money has been tight). I had a little more room, so before I cleaned out my pockets, I just went for it! Such a sigh of relief to know that know one had snagged the domain. This was a major step in my blogging journey because it reassured me that I am serious about my goals and that I am moving in the right direction. Even though I am tight with my money (I don’t usually get to hold a paycheck for too long before bills and responsibilities take over), I understand that this was a necessary step in the journey and it was money well invested. Money is made to be spent, and I will make plenty more (in Jesus’ name)..

I feel good about this.. Yup. This is a good thing. What should I do next? Any suggestions for someone trying to gradually grow their following?