March ’19 Hot Topics

March has been jam packed with hot topics that have taken the world by storm from major regional weather issues to traveling issues to various celebrity issues and I am here to catch y’all up on all the tea this month! So lets jump right in, this month’s hot topics in my book are:

  • Boeing Plane Issues #Boeing737Max8 On Sunday, March 10, a new Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed en route to Nairobi from Addis Adaba leaving no survivors. Six short minutes after takeoff the aircraft, a Boeing 737 Max 8, lost contact with air traffic controllers. The plane crashed right outside of the Ethiopian capital, Bishoftu and it is not clear what caused the crash since the plane was just delivered to the airline back in November. Since the crash the Federal Aviation Administration is grounding all Boeing 737 Max aircraft operated in by US airlines or in US territory for the time being. Some of the major airlines affected by this are Southwest Airlines who had to ground 34 of its’ planes, and American Airlines who grounded 14 aircrafts. Dozens of other countries have grounded their ‘737 Max 8’s, and some have banned them all together. Nonetheless, travel season is among us and it seems like appropriate actions have been taken to ensure passenger safety but fly at your own risk.
  • Stranded Cruise Ship #CruiseGoneWrong The Viking Sky cruise ship was stranded near the coast of Norway on Saturday, March 23, for 48 hours. The ship was carrying 1,373 passengers and were more than half way through the 12-day cruise exploring Norwegian towns when they got stuck in the middle of a storm with 43 mph winds and 26 feet tall waves. On top of that, it has been reported that the cruise ship was also experiencing engine trouble due to low oil levels. Around 400 passengers were evacuated by boat and helicopter throughout the night. The Viking cruise ship was able to successfully dock on Norway’s coast Sunday afternoon. There were 20 reported injuries. Thankfully there were no fatalities, however, I was thinking about taking a cruise later on this year and I’m not going to lie that this spectacle has me on the fence about if I should.
  • Cardi B Video #SurvivingCardiB About 3 years ago, Cardi B made an Instagram Live video where she admits to drugging and robbing men to make a living. Rather than avoiding the limelight, Cardi B owned up to what she said in the video and put it into context where she says, “the men I spoke about…were men I dated…that were conscious, willing and aware.” She continued on and said “I am not proud of it and feel a responsibility not to glorify it.” However, social media was ruthless as usual and created #SurvivingCardiB to compare her actions to those of R. Kelly sexual abuse docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” People are even out there comparing her to Bill Cosby who is currently serving 10 years for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman. Through all of this, Cardi B has shown the world that she owns up to her past actions and is trying to grow from them, in her words, “she never claimed to be perfect.” I think that unless one of Cardi B’s men come forward and speak to her drugging and robbing them, nothing should come of this video.
  • Jussie charges dropped #JussieSmollett In February’s Hot Topics I wrote about the Jussie’s case for staging his own hate crime attack. Jussie was being charged for 16 felony counts which were all dropped on March 26. The Chicago Mayor and Police Department were not in the least bit happy about the state prosecutors clearance of Jussie’s charges. Despite the haters, Jussie has remained unapologetic while maintaining his innocence. I am personally not surprised the charges did not stick because there is no hard proof just circumstantial evidence and the brothers word against his.
  • The Gayle King Interview with R Kelly #rkellyinterview CBS This Morning released the exclusive and explosive interview with R Kelly to give him a chance to respond to the grievances placed against him since the release of the Surviving R Kelly docuseries. The interview has become a topic of conversation with R Kelly’s unstable behavior and Gayle King’s ability to keep her composure through it all. R Kelly puts on a grand act by claiming all the accusers that came forward in the docuseries were “lying on him.” He was very defensive throughout the interview and trying his best to twist the story to his favor. Gayle King also interviewed R Kelly’s current standing women/girlfriends Jocelyn Savage and Azriel Clary who both spoke in his defense that they are in a consensual relationship with him and their parents pushed them into R Kelly’s arms for money. In the video he plays the victim and busts into tears amidst a temper tantrum as he says, “I’m fighting for my fucking life…y’all killing me with this shit!” There were so many moments in this interview that could be picked apart but the moral of the story is that the fire has been lit to burn this monster to the ground and to say the least, he’s feeling the heat.

Well that’s all I have this month in regards to hot topics, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t other issues that were hot topics of discussion. So what were some other major takeaways this month for y’all??

Protect Your Energy

Your internal serenity should always be a top priority and this requires you to protect yourself–protect your energy.

Have you ever noticed how you can sometimes feel drained after being around certain people or being certain places? That means someone’s energy isn’t aligning with yours and their overall aura just isn’t for you. When this happens you need to hone into who exactly is bringing the bad energy onto you and distance yourself from them and fast!

I deliberately avoid certain people in order to protect my mental, emotional, and spiritual health. You’d be surprised how many times we put our own health to the side in order to be up under somebody that is downright no good for us whether it is through the exploration of platonic friendships or romantic relationships.

An important life lesson that everyone has to learn the hard way is that not everyone is for you! You can’t be everyone’s friend, and everyone can’t be yours. It is your personal obligation to yourself to be selective about who you allow into your space.

I’m in no way saying you should be loner and be friendless but I am saying that you have to be careful about who you surround yourself with. When you feel your energy draining in new surroundings and around certain people you have to listen to your body. When your homeostasis is threatened so is your peace of mind and no one is more important than you.

If you don’t put yourself first then who will?

I always think back to when I was pregnant when I think about the premise of protecting your energy. When I was pregnant, I didn’t f*ck with a lot of people, because I didn’t want people’s bad vibes rubbing off on my baby i.e. them affecting my mood which would in turn affect my baby. They weren’t about to have my baby out here looking crazy because the baby feeds off of the mothers emotions and overall being. So I protected myself by just not allowing myself to be bothered with any nonsense, and when I tell ya’ll I have the best child, I’m not just tooting my own horn.

Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be happy for you. A person’s energy can tell you more about them than their own words. Energy is real and you must protect yours.

So I challenge you to take a look at how you feel around certain people in your life and if you feel even the slightest mismatch of energy at any point of time you just might have to make your inner circle that much smaller.

#DidYouKnow: Women’s History Month

March is designated as Women’s History Month! However, did you know that Women’s History Month started out as Women’s History Week?

Women around the US began women history celebrations during the first week of March to gain the attention of nation. As the recognition and participation during these women conventions increased, President Jimmy Carter declared a Presidential Proclamation for the week of March 8th to become the National Women’s History Week in 1980.

“From the settlers who first came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

President Jimmy Carter’s Message designating March 2-8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week

Successive Presidents went on year after year and continued to proclaim National Women’s History Week in March until 1987 when Congress passed Public Law 100-9, which finally declared March as Women’s History Month.

Did you know that every year there is a different theme for Women’s History Month?

The National Women’s History Alliance chooses and publishes the annual theme for Women’s History Month. The 2019 Women’s History Month theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” This years theme honors women who have pioneered efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and led the implementation of nonviolence to change society.

If you would like more information on women’s history exhibits and collections check out the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum who feature a plethora of information regarding women’s history.

#MusicMatters: Karma×Queen Naija

I believe that music connects with people in the most powerful way where it just uplifts your soul, speaks to your heart, and manifests the words weighing in your mind. Music is therapeutic and the majority of songs really put into context some of the beauty and hardships you experience in life.

With that said, every once in a while when I find a song that speaks to me that I think has some valuable information that we can learn from and interpret on a deeper level I will first post the song lyrics and then breakdown the song for the major takeaways I think someone somewhere can relate to.

Our first song for #MusicMatters is Karma by Queen Naija that speaks about a relationship breakup where her partner just threw her to the side for the next chick. This is one of my favorite songs right now. Its been out for a hot minute but every time I hear it, the words she sings resonate deeply within me where I can terribly relate.

**Disclaimer** I think it is best if you first read through the lyrics and then listen to the song.

“Karma”

I held you down for the longest
And I was there through all of your darkest moments
Feels just like yesterday when we were homeless
Got you some bread, and start treating me bogus

Talking about you wanted something new
Like I wasn’t good enough for you
Guess you done caught you a case of amnesia
Maybe you should take a look in your rear view

Cause obviously you forgot all the times that I held you when you cried
And don’t you remember that even if you was in the wrong I stood by your side
No, I guess not, I guess not
Cause you let them thots take my spot
Congratulations to you what you wanted is what you got now

So you don’t got to worry about me
You made it clear that you’re unhappy, yeah
Go ahead and have your fun now
Just remember what goes around comes around

You don’t got to worry about me
You made it clear that you’re unhappy, yeah
Go ahead and have your fun now
Just remember what goes around comes around

I remember when you said that you could have somebody better
And I can’t even lie to you, it really messed my head up
Have me looking in the mirror disgusted with myself
Wishing that I look like someone else
Like the girls you liked on Instagram, damn

And you really had the nerve to call me insecure
Maybe it wasn’t you
Maybe it’s true I didn’t know my worth
Maybe maybe I should have loved me first
Maybe maybe I should have loved me first

So you don’t got to worry about me
You made it clear that you’re unhappy, yeah
Go ahead and have your fun now
Just remember what goes around comes around

You don’t got to worry about me
You made it clear that you’re unhappy, yeah
Go ahead and have your fun now
Just remember what goes around comes around

What goes around, it comes around
What goes around, it comes around, yeah

Let’s begin at the name of the song “Karma.” Karma is generally defined as “what goes around comes around.” In which, means that you will be held accountable for the choices you make and the actions you take. So in this song she’s taking us on a journey about how she held her significant other down when they literally had nothing, and the second they got on their feet, they started acting brand new, and thought they could have someone better than her.

I think so many people can resonate with this principle because living in todays world where you can connect with someone with just the touch of a button on any social media platform is scary. Your significant other can literally leave at any given moment and it won’t necessarily be someone in your town but can be anyone in the world. The person you’re with today can wake up tomorrow and decide they don’t want to be with you anymore for whatever reason.

However, that’s a mute point to the main point I’m trying to get at. When she says, “I remember when you said that you could have somebody better, Have me looking in the mirror disgusted with myself.” Really hit me like a ton of bricks because your significant other is one of the only people in your life that can lift you up or tear you down, and sadly sometimes it’s the latter. And that stuff stays with you, you remember the putdowns more so than the compliments and if anyone speaks to you negatively in such a way you need to nip it in the bud immediately or get to steppin’.

The last verse really was the message that stood out the most to me where she says, “Maybe it wasn’t you, maybe it’s true I didn’t know my worth, maybe I should have loved me first.” These lines right here are crucial in this world as a woman and especially while within a relationship. Before you can be with any one and truly love them and be loved, you have to love yourself first. Ya’ll already know I’m a huge advocate for self-love and I think this song drives home that necessity.

You can never allow yourself to get lost within a relationship where you lose sight of your self-worth. You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are enough. And you are worth it. Always know your worth because if you don’t no one else will.

Ultimately, if someone does you down right dirty, dust yourself off and keep it moving because they will get what’s coming to them, one way or another.

Well, that’s my dissection of the song, I hope y’all enjoyed the song, and the valuable lessons it teaches. And remember, treat others the way you want to be treated because karma is a b!tch!

February ’19 Hot Topics

In the spirit of establishing blog traditions for Straight Gurl Talk, here is my list of February 2019 hot topics. Of course, there are tons of topics I could include here but I just wanted to touch base on a few elements that I think stirred the pot a little bit this month and just add my two cents on them. So lets jump right into it…

  • Jussie Smollett Attack. #inthenews On January 29, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett reported being beaten and doused in bleached, which was perceived as a hate crime since his attackers said racist and homophobic slurs during the attack. Where events took a turn for the worst, was when Chicago police said that Jussie set up the whole thing by paying his attackers prior to the event. So they are basically saying that his alleged attackers, who happen to be brothers, and have worked on the set of “Empire” with Jussie and work as a personal trainer for him, have proof of a transaction that took place between them. This apparently equates to Jussie paying them to stage the hate crime just so that Jussie could get a raise from “Empire” production. I know most are saying he’s an attention whore and is guilty, (there are some mean memes circulating social media) but I just don’t think Jussie is that stupid to set himself up like that and with someone that can easily track back to him. I guess we will just have to wait and see how it all plays out and who has the most believable storyline because it seems like it’s going to be a “he said, she said” type of case.
  • Black History Month. #celebrate I’m pretty upset I wasn’t able to make a post about the importance of celebrating black history month but I for sure wanted to include it here as we look back on the month of February. And I think the main thing I saw in the media regarding BHM was people disrespecting the African American culture and people (of course, there were black history celebrations and honors as well). There was a huge controversy with Gucci Mane and his turtlenecks, then there was the school that created black face representations during a BHM song tribute, and then there were numerous instances of blacks attacking blacks like the whole Steve Harvey and Monique square off. I just think we as a people (not just African Americans) can do better and should do better in celebrating the black community and how far we’ve come as a people.

There’s a saying that goes: you have to know where you came from to know where you’re going and I think that’s the true purpose of BHM; to learn about black history in its entirety and learn from it.

Furthermore, if you would like to broaden your horizons and knowledge, there is a great application provided via Facebook Messenger called Push Black that will send out daily, weekly, or even monthly updates (you pick how often you want to receive notifications) on black history. I signed up for it a couple months ago and do the weekly updates and it has really opened my eyes and educated me on black history in every which way. Moral of the story: don’t sleep on black history, it’s a critical aspect to the fabric of the world!

  • The 91st Academy Awards. #movies For the first time in the past 30 years, The Oscars was produced without a host due to the Kevin Hart debacle (if you don’t know, he had posted a series of homophobic tweets) that happened late last year. Needless to say, the show proceeded fairly quickly and many complained that it wasn’t as “put together” without a host. Regardless, there were still some memorable highlights from the award show such as Lady Gaga’s and Bradley Cooper’s groundbreaking performance of “Shallow,” Black Panther becoming Marvel Studios first Oscar winner, and the official Lion King trailer being released during the show. Also, in an effort to thwart the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Spike Lee finally won the Oscar he should’ve gotten years ago for Best Director, Black Panther racked up three golden globes, and Regina King won Best Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk. There was a major uproar with the movie Green Book winning Best Picture, as the leading upset for the entire show. However, it was a great year for Lady Gaga making history as the first person to win an Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe, and BAFTA in a single year!

With that said, I think the Oscar’s does shed light on movies that just might be worth watching that you might have not considered before. So if you weren’t able to catch these films at the movies, maybe go check them out (at least, all of these movies have been added to my must-see list):

  1. If Beale Street Could Talk
  2. Green Book
  3. A Star is Born
  4. Bohemian Rhapsody
  5. Black KKKlansman
  6. The Favourite
  7. Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse
  8. Roma
  9. Free Solo
  10. First Man
  • The Grammys 2019. #musicmatters This year was the 61st Annual Grammys Awards and boy was it one for the books. There were grand performances from Kacey Musgraves, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Travis Scott, Camila Cabello, H.E.R., Cardi B, Shawn Mendes, and Miley Cyrus, just to name the few. Profound moments were in abundance throughout the show such as Jennifer Lopez’s Motown tribute (which was a huge controversy beforehand within the black community), Dolly Parton performed with Kacey Musgraves, Miley Cyrus, and Katy Perry after being named as the MusiCares Person of the Year to honor her charity work, Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance during the show opening, and Andra Day, Yolanda Adams, and Fantasia performed A Natural Woman Tribute to Aretha Franklin. The notable winners from this years show were: Cardi B becoming the first solo woman to win best rap album, H.E.R. won two awards, including Best R&B album, Childish Gambino’s “This is America” won four awards, Ariana Grande won her first Grammy, and Kacy Musgraves won four awards, one of which was album of the year. Needless to say, the award show featured a considerable amount of amazing performances, celebrity appearances, and fashion statements maintaining its claim as the most prestigious musical celebration award shows. I know I will now be downloading Kacy Musgraves album to my Spotify to see firsthand what I’ve been missing out on all this time.
  • Tax Season. #taxreturn January 28th marked the official start of the tax season which is the best time of the year for some or the worst for others. You either see people balling out with their tax refund acting like they never had any money or you see the people who are paying money out their ass back to the IRS for whatever their situation may be. So which one are you? Do you take less money in your paycheck throughout the year for a larger payout during tax season or do you like to see your money in your paycheck and just take the lower tax refund during tax season? Based on the simple time value of money, you should prefer to see most of your money in your paycheck and forego the larger tax refund because you are basically giving the government an interest free-loan if you choose the latter. Here are some facts for you, the average tax refund is down by double digits this year in comparison to last year. Precisely 17% lower. Last year tax refund average was around $3169 and this year has lowered to $2640. This due to the change in tax law which eliminated some popular deductions and revised withholding tables which caused many taxpayers to under-withhold their income for taxes.

Therefore, we need to wise up and adjust accordingly when it comes to taxes so here are a few tips I have for you:

  1. Check your W-4s make sure your tax withholding is in your benefit. I say take as much money in your paycheck as you can get!
  2. Don’t be a thirst for your refund check! Meaning: don’t be dependent on your tax refund to make stuff happen, save throughout the year so you aren’t pressed, manage your money wisely year long.
  3. Get your refund direct deposited into your bank and leave it there! Currently, I work as a bank teller and let me tell you we absolutely dread when tax season rolls around because people really get upset when we run out of money because everybody and they momma wanna pull out their entire refund as soon as it hits! I really think it would be more beneficial if you just leave your tax refund money in your account and watch it grow. Use it as a jumpstart to your emergency savings or at least use it to pay off some major bills, don’t use it all trying to flex and going on a full blown shopping spree.

There you have it ladies, those are some of my major takeaways from the month of February. What else would you say was a hot topic from February 2019??

Love Story- Guest Blog

This is my first guest blog feature following the theme of love for the month of February! Let me know what you think!

Sorting Life's Issues with Jess

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In the name of love…

Laying on that examination table trying to mentally prepare for a procedure I never wanted was heart wrenching. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t even mutter the words, “I’m ready,” when the nurse asked if I was ready to begin. Truth is, I wasn’t ready for them to stick a 3-inch needle (which seems humongous in the moment) into my protruding baby bump.

At that moment, when I felt the invasive pressure hit my pregnant belly, knowing the risk associated—miscarriage—that’s when I felt an immeasurable amount of love for my unborn daughter.

Those next 48 hours after the amniocentesis were excruciating. I prayed for that kick in my ribs harder than anything else in my life. When I finally felt it, a huge sigh of relief spread all over my body. My baby was still kicking; still fighting to see my face on her glorious birthday.

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The Chapter I don’t want to read out loud

Everyone has a chapter they don’t want to read out loud. Hitting rock bottom is an inevitable truth that everyone goes through at some point in their life. And man oh man, it’s the hardest thing you’ll have to deal with in your life. But as long as you keep in mind that the only step from rock bottom is up, you will make it through.

Your breakdown is your breakthrough.

My rock bottom hit me like a pound of bricks. Just like that, in a blink of an eye, the world–my world–as I knew it was turned upside down. My downward spiral began when I finally left my ex husband. Anyone who’s been in any type of serious relationship and let it go, knows the struggle of maintaining a lifestyle you built with two incomes but suddenly only have one to depend on. It’s a hard transition, one I failed to master.

I found myself living with my little sister where we shared a room and a bathroom. That was a major hit to my pride to have to depend on little sister and inconvenience her life but she never complained and was truly a lifesaver for me. I stayed with her for about three months until I found a roommate and moved out. But believe it or not, even after this move I was still struggling.

Since I now had a larger amount of rent to pay, I became careless with my bills. It’s not that I purposely neglected them but at this point, after what I had been through, having a roof over my head was more important than my credit score.

And damn was that a mistake. Eventually my past due notices caught up with me and my car got repossessed. During this time, I was a home aide, travelling to people’s home to care for them so I needed a car! This was the straw that broke the camels back for me, I didn’t know how to come up from this.

I did my best to stay afloat by catching rides and riding the bus whenever necessary but it wasn’t enough. I ended up losing my job because I didn’t have a car.

I rolled into a major depression where I couldn’t tell up from down, or left from right. My credit score was in the dumps. I couldn’t get my car back. I could barely pay rent. The hardest part about all of this was the fact I knew I was destined for more, destined to be better than I was acting. Better than my current predicament.

Man did it take me a looonnnggg time to just get back on my feet. I went without a car for four long months. I caught the bus to work when I could, even resorted to walking to work sometimes. When I finally got a car, it was one of those “hooptie” cars that you don’t want to be seen dead in. But I drove that car like it was the best thing since sliced cheese because I was just grateful to have the convenience of a car again.

The light at the end of the tunnel during all of this was my now-husband. I met my husband two weeks before my car got repossessed. And when I tell you he stood by my side without a blink of an eye , I knew he was the man for me. And there’s honestly no way I would’ve made it through all of that without him.

The beauty in hitting rock bottom is the humbling experience it provides you. Things you once took for granted you now see in a different light. And let me tell you I was humbled to my very core. I now look back on these experiences and my life now and I’m grateful for every single one. I now have a greater appreciation for life and my place in it.

Take every failure as a lesson learned. Every experience, good or bad, is shaping you into the best person you can be. Without my failures I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength, plus there’s beauty in the struggle. 

The Day of Love

As soon as Christmas passes, store aisles are decked out with heart shaped balloons and chocolates, teddy bears galore, and an unbearable amount of pinks and reds. Valentine’s Day has become one of the worlds most profitable holidays, coined as a grand marketing scheme Saint Valentine himself couldn’t have imagined. Designed to put pressure on people to showcase their love for the rest of the world to judge, and those who are lacking love to run and hide. Regardless of how you feel about the holiday, there is an added pressure on us gurls to hold the holiday to a higher regard unnecessarily.

Valentine’s Day has a mixed connotation associated with it, specifically with women, that needs to be addressed:

  • Love Day. If you see it as an issue that you are single and not in a relationship on Valentines Day you are unrightfully setting yourself up for a gloomsday. With that said, I thought it was important to address the negative juju associated with the holiday because one day should not have the power to magnify your singleness to the point you feel lonely. And, there is absolutely no need to feel a certain type of way about the holiday just because you are single at that particular time. The holiday is not to solely celebrate your love with your significant other but it is meant to celebrate love, which comes in many forms. Relationship or not, you have some sort of love relationship with someone, whether it be your parents, or child, or even your friends. So I say, if you are single, relish in your singleness. Enjoy being alone. Take yourself out on a dinner date. Send yourself some flowers. Because remember no one’s going to love you like you do anyways.
  • Relationship Pressure. Most of those in relationships, dread the holiday because of the price tag and romantic expectations associated with it. Generally, women expect their significant other to spoil them with flowers and chocolates, and a grand romantic gesture. Restaurants are packed so that you can flaunt your relationship to the rest of the world. Quite frankly, we want chocolates and flowers and jewelry so that we can run and tell our gurlfriends about it or put it on Snapchat. However, I know plenty of couples that don’t even bother with celebrating the holiday because it’s unrealistic to limit showing your loved ones how much you love them to one day within a year. It should be done throughout the year.
  • Love Making. I’ve spoke to many women who feel that giving it up on Valentines Day is their partners gift or there are the women who reserve that night for pulling out all their tricks in the bedroom. However, the main flaw here is that we believe giving up our body is a requirement on Valentines Day which couldn’t be farther from the truth. If that’s the tradition you and your significant other have started then believe you me, I am not hating. But, what I want to stress is that if you’re in a new relationship and feel pressured to take this next step, please remember you are not required to do so in the name of love.
  • Gift Giver or Receiver? Or both? The hallmark holiday has been marked with consumerism and commercialism at the forefront which generally places additional pressure on men to show up and show out for their partner so that they don’t end up in the dog house. I’m not going to lie, I am a sucker for Valentine’s Day. I enjoy the flowers and heart shaped chocolates because they are available in an abundance around this time of year. However, I try not to make a big deal about it because I don’t want my husband to feel like this is the one time he can do something nice for me. He needs to be showing me love year round. On the other hand, I do make sure I do something nice for him for Valentine’s Day because I’m not as lovey-dovey as I should or could be, so it serves as a friendly reminder for me that my husband needs love too and it’s my job to show it to him. So ladies, if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day and expect a gift, get your partner something too!
  • Singles Awareness/Appreciation Day. Most singles refer to the holiday at Singles Awareness Day (SAD) adding a depressing vibe to the holiday. However, February 15th is now known as Singles Awareness/Appreciation Day, created as a humorous holiday to celebrate being single. I literally just found out this was a thing this week, and I love the idea it was founded on–the day following Valentines Day was chosen to allow single people to turn it into a joyous occasion versus a festival of self-pity. This day was made as a reminder to embrace your singleness to the umpteenth power!

The main point I’m trying to drive home here is that Valentine’s Day is held at way too high of an regard with pricey expectations. If you really think about it, it really is a silly holiday. So if you’re able to really see it for what it is, you won’t put those societal pressures on yourself that come with the occasion. Just allow yourself to fall in love with love all over again on this day because that’s the point. 

Regardless of your relationship status, take on Valentine’s Day as a celebration of love. Celebrate your partner, your parents, your children, and don’t forget yourself. And let the holiday serve as a reminder to the power of love and how we need to show it to one another more often.

Meet Me Halfway

I asked my husband a couple weeks ago about some topics he thought I should write about here on my blog and the first idea he came up with was this one: the division of household duties for couples. I immediately thought this is for sure a great topic of discussion for us gurls because more often than not it is perceived that household duties should fall on the female and that needs to change.

There’s always seems to be a power struggle in relationships due to misogynistic and “wifey” ideals. Let me elaborate, when I say misogynistic ideals, I’m talking about those men stuck in the old days that strongly believe that they can come home from work, kick back and relax, and their woman/wife serves them dinner while they watch TV and unwind. Meanwhile the wife is slaving trying to cook dinner, keep the house clean, all while taking care of the kids. Now when I say “wifey” ideals, I’m talking about those women who believe that by playing wifey, i.e. performing wifey duties such as cooking and cleaning, they will become a wife.

Now I’m not writing this to shade anyone out there who partake in either ideal. Hell, my husband is low-key misogynistic, however, he knows I am not the one to bow down to any man and tend to their needs before my own. So naturally, we have struggled trying to find a happy medium when it comes to household duties but best believe a happy medium had to be found because I’ll be damned if I’m waiting on a man hand a foot but I have to go to work everyday just like he goes to work everyday.

Ladies it is imperative that we hold our men to higher standards and insist that they help out more, because like Steve Harvey said, what you allow will continue.

Don’t get me wrong there has been a shift in society where more men are found to be taking on more household duties and there are even more stay-at-home-dads these days. However, for those of us who have two working adults within a household it does become difficult and stressful for household duties to be placed solely on the woman.

Let me break this down for you a little bit more so you can see the whole picture. I’m going to use my husband and I as an example: My husband is in the military so he typically works from 9-5 on weekdays, he is a wonderful father to our daughter, and an awesome provider by taking on the majority of our bills. However, I also work a 9-5 job everyday, I am a mother, grad student, blogger, and provider. If I was being completely honest, I’m juggling too many hats at once but the point is, no matter how many roles I take on I am still expected to be the one to cook, clean, and care for my daughter because I am a woman.

This thinking is so old fashioned and needs to cease to exist. Your significant other needs to be contributing to your household just as much as you do. Make them meet you halfway!

So how do you go about doing this you ask? Well, the first step would be to stop taking on more than you can handle. I’m not saying to stop pursuing your interests outside of the home. I’m saying if you feel like you are doing too much within the home with little to no help, and you have a partner, ASK FOR THEM TO HELP YOU OUT MORE! Now in order to get your significant other to respond correctly without getting defensive, I think it is important that you first ask, in order to keep the conversation from going left and make it seem like it’s their idea.

Once you both successfully agree that contributions to household duties should be made on both sides, you two should make a plan on how you will move forward with this new collaboration and STICK WITH IT!

For example, my husband refuses to do my daughters hair. He will send her to daycare looking crazy if I do not do her hair in the morning. So to meet him halfway and for my own sanity, I agreed to do her hair and take her to daycare in the mornings and he can pick her up in the afternoon. This way I’m holding myself accountable to plan enough time in the morning to get us both ready and we don’t have to play phone tag in the afternoon trying to figure out if one of us has picked her up already or not.

Now get this, my daughter is two and half and we just implemented this new strategy a couple of months ago. So be patient, some things you try to collaborate on will not work the first time around, but you have to keep working on it until you figure out a system that works. Do not give up because you literally cannot do it all and remain sane.

With the steady rise of working women and mothers, we need help taking care of the home and it should no longer be a responsibility solely pinned upon women to do such tasks.

So if you find yourself in a relationship, yet struggling to juggle all your hats and keep your house tidy, I challenge you to have a conversation with your significant other and ask them to help lighten your load in any way they can. It is not all on you to do everything!

January ’19 Hot Topics

Each month I will do a culmination post that goes over a few hot topics from that month which will include anything from social trending, music, TV shows, and even major news events, etc.

Outside of the typical January hot topic of “new year new me” trends, I want to touch on a few hot topics that I wasn’t able to make a full post about. Now the items that make it on my list are just things I’ve noticed as huge talking points amongst my friends and family, social media, co-workers, and based on my location.

So lets jump right in, here are the January hot topics:

1. The Government Shutdown. #inthenews The longest government shutdown in US history lasting for 35 long days has started the year off with a bang. The shutdown has prolonged this excruciating amount of time due to Trump’s demand of “the wall” along the Mexico border. This shutdown has cost many federal employees paychecks to be nonexistent and critical services out of reach to the people. Trump agreed to lift the government shutdown temporarily for 3 weeks on Friday, January 25th but he has not let go of his will to build the wall. He has made it clear that he is prepared to enforce another government shutdown if the bipartisan committee does not construct a deal that meets his border security demands. 🙄 Lord be with us.

 

2. 10 Year Challenge. #socialmediatrending If you use any form of social media whether it be Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you have seen people posting then-and-now profile pictures. You probably participated in the social media phenomenon yourself. As I watched people post pictures, I noticed that most people had major glow ups and I think it serves as a friendly reminder that where you are now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. I couldn’t help but reflect on my own life in the last 10 years and man I’ve come a long a way, I’ve been through a lot of shit, but I’m grateful for where I am today. I’m not where I want to be but at least I’m moving in the right direction! Own your glow up ladies 💁🏽‍♀️ Here’s my #10yearchallenge for kicks and giggles:

 

Gurl the struggle was real…don’t judge me lol

3. Surviving R. Kelly Docuseries. #BlackGirlsMatter This has been a touchy subject for me because there are so many opinions surrounding the types of issues brought up with this documentary but it has been a major talking point in the black community. So if you don’t know, Lifetime created a 6-episode docuseries titled Surviving R. Kelly that basically broadcasts the cruel, demeaning, and straight up foul sexual (assault) acts R. Kelly has performed against young black women including his former wife. There’s honestly so much you could talk about concerning this documentary but it was most definitely eye opening and disheartening that he’s been getting away with his behavior for so long because he’s dealing with young black girls. The documentary was launched to correlate with Lifetime’s Emmy award winning Stop Violence Against Women Public Affairs campaign and although it is hard to watch due to the unspeakable sexual misconduct there are lots of teachable moments. With that said, if you haven’t watched it yet, check it out, and take notes on how we can be better and know better collectively as women.

4. Soulja Boy Shenanigans#memetastic Ya’ll already know I’m obsessed with memes and Soulja Boy has hit social media by storm with his memes in correlation to his Drake comment made at an interview with the Breakfast Club. The interview itself is about an hour long and Soulja Boy touches on a lot of things from his shoot out to being the godfather of streaming music but generally he’s perceived as the butt of the joke. Even if you don’t know who Soulja Boy is, I’m sure you’ve at least seen one of his memes. Here are some of my favorites:

5.   Winter Weather Advisory. #coldasshit These winter storms have been coming through the US with no mercy at all. I live in upstate NY right now, so naturally it is already cold out here but I don’t thing the temps have creeped past freezing point for the majority of the month. One of my sisters who lives down in Florida was even busting out her “winter jacket” and turning on the heater this month whenever the temps went below 65 degrees. 😂 All jokes aside, it has been reported that 15 homeless people have died in the US from the bone chilling temperatures. Some states are experiencing temperatures below negative 50 degrees with the wind chill! If you don’t know how cold that is, be thankful because that’s too cold; cold as f*ck! So stay warm out there and commence cuddle weather.

There you have it ladies, those are some of my major takeaways from the month of January. What else would you say was a hot topic from January 2019??