Category Archives: Life
You all know that I will never fail to share with you things/people/blogs/stuff that I like to obsess over. Today’s object of my blog-reading-affection is the hair care blog, Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care. The blog is authored by a lovely woman named Rory. She and her husband are parents to an adorable, three-year-old little girl whom they lovingly call, Boo. They adopted Boo when she was just a few days old and have given her the warm and loving home that every child is deserving of. The blog offers a front seat view on what trans-racial option looks like, with the focal point being how Rory learned to care for the hair of an African Amercian child. That’s a daunting task for any new mom, let alone one that may not have any point of reference on what natural hair looks and feels like, much less how to care for it.
When C.C. was around three or four months old, I began to search the net for tips on how to start caring for her hair. Sure, I’ve been combing my own hair for almost twenty years (gosh, I’m getting old!), but combing someone else’s is an entirely different story. I wanted to get a jump start on what I could expect, even moreso with me being on my own natural hair journey. Some people I know thought I was jumping the gun a bit, but I’m a firm believer that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
After doing some Google searching, I happened upon CHVC one night. I think what struck me about the site (and what continues to make it successful, in my opinion) is that Rory offers step by step instruction on how to braid, cornrow, wash, detangle,etc. her daughter’s hair. She offers tips and PICTURES of styles and maintenance, which is what I was craving. I wanted to see examples (ya’ll know how I feel about pictures!) and she presented exactly what I was looking for. I was thoroughly impressed.
To be completely honest, however, I was slightly disappointed that this new insanely helpful resource that I had literally been searching for, was done by a white woman. Not to mention, another leading blog/site on natural hair for children, Beads Braids and Beyond is also run by a white woman. I asked myself, “Why haven’t WE done this for ourselves?” But as quickly as that thought came, it left (I’m seriously talking a matter of minutes, here). I realized that none of that really mattered. Rory is a mom of a beautiful-brown-girl, to whom she wants to give the best care…just like me. That’s it. Black, white, whatever. It’s a mother’s love. Period.
Since then I have become a faithful reader of CHVC. The site is growing and I’m a full supporter and believer in her success! We’ve chatted online a bit and I find her to be incredibly sweet and hope to meet her one day (she lives in California, too).
For your clicking pleasure, here are some more links that will help you get to know more about Rory, Boo, and the blog!
Feature Black Girl Long Hair: White Mother’s Opinion on Touching Daughter’s Natural Hair – This post has garnered a whopping 294 comments! The subject matter of hair touching (in this case, Rory’s open letter about it) sparked a huge debate. Most of the comments are supportive, but there are a bunch that are mean and plain old nasty, which I find unfortunate. I wish people can get beyond the color issue (like I did) and appreciate her efforts to be a good mom, instead of tearing her down. SMH!
Please make sure to check the site out and show her some love!
I have stated before that the book, “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey changed my life. How so, you say?
Well, it basically ripped to shreds every preconceived notion I’ve ever had about personal finance. This term is slightly overused, but Dave is truly a GURU when it comes to ridding your life of debt and thereby changing everything about your life. Permanently. If you purchase the book, I would venture to say it’d be the best $25 bucks you’ll ever spend. The thing about Dave’s message and plan is that it’s useless to you if you’re not ready to commit to making some serious changes to your financial behavior. My husband and I were ready back in 2007 and Dave has become an honorary member of our family as a result!
Today we got the chance to see him live, right here in our hometown. We bought tickets back in April. Yes, you read that right…APRIL. When I saw that he’d be coming to the Los Angeles area, there was NO WAY we were going to miss the opportunity to hear him speak! We waited a long time for this event and he didn’t disappoint!
His presentation was thought provoking, inspirational, and funny! He has an incredible sense of humor and he’s a dynamic speaker. If you’re starting to feel like this is a Public Service Announcement on the awesomeness that is Dave Ramsey…well…it is! His teachings are simple, sound, and Bible based, and proven. No tricks, no gimmicks…just real talk.
Anyway, I posted on Facebook about us attending the event and a couple people asked for notes. I decided a blog post would be a perfect way to share the info with everyone! So here are the key things that stood out to me when I read the book a few years ago and that he went over in detail again today. Please note that this is all taken from the “See Dave Ramsey LIVE!” workbook and promotional material.
- The average American household has $91,000 in debt, and the total consumer debt has doubled since 1980. (Federal Reserve and U.S. Census Bureau)
- Conflict over money is still the leading cause of divorce today (Multiple Studies)
- 28% of Americans spent more time watching reality TV last month than they spent planning and preparing for retirement over the past 10 years. (AARP poll)
Myth: Car payments are a way of life, and you’ll always have one.
Truth: Staying away from car payments by driving reliable used cars is what the typical millionaire does. This is how they became millionaires.
Myth: You need to take out a credit card or car loan to “build your credit.” You must build your FICO score to prosper.
Truth: The FICO score is an “I LOVE debt” score. Why would you want to go into debt so you have the opportunity to go further into debt?
Myth: You need a credit card to rent a car, check into a hotel, or make a purchase over the phone or web.
Truth: A debit card will do all of that, except for a few major rental companies. Check in advance.
Dave offers 7 Baby Steps toward financial freedom. They are:
1) Start an emergency fund of $1,000
2) Pay off all debt using the debt snowball
3) Build a fully funded emergency fund of 3-6 months of expenses in savings
4) Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
5) Create a college fund for your children
6) Pay off your home mortgage early
7) Build wealth and give
My husband and I got to step two and living debt free was the only way we have been able to keep our heads above water during the recession and survive my husband’s layoff. After today, we are charged up and ready to pick up where we left off – building our fully funded emergency fund. We are proof that this plan works and look forward to getting all the way to Baby Step 7!
If you’d like more information, check out Dave Ramsey’s website. He’s got a variety a products that can help you get motivated and get started! You can also pick up a copy of “The Total Money Makeover” from any major book retailer and/or on Amazon.
I wish you the best in your financial endeavors! It’ll take a lot of hard work, but the result will be WELL worth it!
Last night I enjoyed one of life’s truly simple pleasures that I had forgotten about. After my shower I found myself literally wrapped up in the cozy comforts of a brand new towel! Don’t laugh, okay?!
A couple of weeks ago I realized how hard and raggedy our towels were. Then it dawned on me that I hadn’t really bought any new towels since we got married. That was FIVE years ago! I guess I have to give it up to Bed Bath & Beyond for their high quality towels that have lasted us so long!
I bought some new ones (from JC Penny this time), and then strangely forgot that they had been washed and folded, waiting patiently in the linen closet, ready to be used! I grabbed a set last night for my shower and fell in love with how AMAZINGLY soft they were. I was in towel heaven!
It may sound crazy that something as ordinary as using a new towel could make my day. But so often we get so busy with life that we forget to stop and appreciate the little things!
What are some of the oddly simple pleasures that you enjoy?
This list will be self-explanatory! I am guilty of having used at least on or two of these phrases on occasion *holdheadinshame*, but some have had their 15 minutes of fame. Enough already!
1) It is, what it is. – Well what is it, exactly?
2) That’s wassup. – Umm, what’s up about it?
3) I’mma rock this (as in, this jacket, outfit, hat, or whatever). – So you’re going to rock, as in sway side to side or back and forth in said item? How is that a good thing?
4) Get it in. – Again, what exactly is “it?”
5) Let’s Gooooooooooo! – Where is everybody going?
Do you have any phrases, words, or statements that you feel have been abused by pop culture?
I was surfing the web the other night and came across the Tumblr page for Frank Ocean. He’s an up and coming songwriter in the music business (he wrote “I Miss You” on Beyonce’s new album). While scrolling through the site this post caught my eye. A fan asked him to write a letter to himself five years ago, explaining what his life is like now. His answer intrigued me…
“Explain your current situation to your five-years-ago self.
wow. alrite. i’ll give it a shot…
your name is frank now..it’s a long story. your girlfriend is about to break up with you because of the long distance. it’s ok. & that job you’re working..well, you’re gonna have to work there for another year and some months.. & then you’re gonna get fired. you’re gonna work a couple more jobs after that too. nothing glamorous. kinkos and at&t if you really want the specifics. but you’re never gonna be homeless or starving. don’t worry you won’t fail and have to move back to new orleans either. you are gonna get your heartbroken though. twice. if it helps, the first one is gonna be worse than the second. contrary to how it feels, it won’t kill you. in fact it’s gonna help you write an album. yea, you finally finished an album. people like it man. you’re actually gonna write and record hundreds of songs. they won’t all be good and most ppl won’t think you’re talented at first, but you’re going to master your gifts. you’re going to become a lot stronger and wiser..even a little taller. be patient. i mean, you kind of have no choice. and be good to people. i don’t wanna spoil too much for you, but.. you’re on a plane right now to the east coast to work with kanye west & jay-z. it’s all working out kid. you made it.”
Aside from the fact that the back story is all kinds of interesting, it’s crazy to me that in just five years his life changed so dramatically. Like, REALLY changed. He went from working at Kinkos to writing songs for some of the biggest names in the music business. Oh, and he’s 23, by the way. That just goes to show you that anything is possible. That burning passion you have inside for whatever it is you love to do? Follow it. You never know where it may take you.
Until then, don’t let your dreams become memories. Start living them today.
This information is right on time and very important! I have been a bit reluctant to over saturate the internet with pictures of my little one…just because it’s such a big black universe of scariness! People are crazy and you never know where your personal photos can end up once they’re uploaded online. You’ll notice very soon here on TYD that any images I post will have the name of the blog written on it as a deterrent for people who may want to copy them and use them somehow.
All of my settings are set to private on Facebook and I hate that they’re always trying to change the settings on the low! I’ll also be making sure we turn off any GPS tracking settings on our smartphones this evening. In any event, please watch this video and take heed.
Do all you can to protect yourself and your family.
There’s a couple of quick links that I want to share with you that reflect two things I love: 1) laughter and 2) information.
First up…the information. Similar to other sites like Babycenter and The Bump, Pampers has created a hub of info for all things baby. It’s a great new place for research-hungry moms to dive into and look up tips, hints, and tricks on everything from giving birth to picking boogers! Okay…maybe not picking boogers…but you get the idea. Check it out!
Next is laughter. I love to laugh. I love the sound of it. I love the way it makes me feel and that it involves your whole body. So when my friend and loyal reader/honorary blog editor Rhonda (smile) sent me this link…I couldn’t help but share it because it was SUPER-DEE-DUPER funny. Like, seriously funny (and it’s only by mere coincidence that it also involves boogers! hahaha). Enjoy!