Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Guest post from Jada!!!- Networking

Hey Im not here today but my dear friend Jada has been gracious enough to do a guest post for me.
Jada is a MBA graduate, Business owner, Mentor, Public speaker and a lady of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Does Your The invaluable power of networking​

A current student at my alma mater called me to interview me for the Communication department.
He asked me what advise would I give to students?!
My advise - network!
Not the “networking” you all claim to do when you go out and exchange business cards and emails yet never follow up.
See 95% of people do one thing VERY well - we never follow up.

Think about the thousands of business cards you’ve gotten over the years. When you got home did you email them and say “great meeting you, let’s get together soon!”, so they could remember who you were ?? And before we even get to the follow up - let’s start with the basics.

Steps to effective Networking:

1. 30 second rule: When a person asks you about yourself, be prepared to state who you are and what you do(or want to do) within 30 seconds. Anyone that is serious about business is not really interested in anything other than the BOTTOM LINE. How can I help you, how can you help me. Period. Point. Blank.

2. DON’T TRY TO SELL PEOPLE! Unless you’re in HR as a recruiter and literally make a living off of selling people….. don’t do it!! Get to know a person first. Rather you own a business or not, we are all in the business of building relationships. Relationships are the “bread and butter” of business. People do not do business with those that they do not like.

 3. Exchange information: Be sure to have your cards, marketing docs, or virtual business card available to exchange.
Definition of exchange - Give something and receive something of the same kind in return.
Don’t just throw your business cards out to everyone and then go home waiting on a call or email.
Which leads to step #4.


5. Repeat #4…. No but seriously as stated in the beginning, we ALL fail to do this. Think of the people you came across and never contacted after meeting then. Days, months, or even years later you think of them and how they could benefit you or vice versa…. but you don’t have their contact info because you didn’t follow up. - Work on that!

 6. “If you want to be around IMPORTANT PEOPLE, you must go where IMPORTANT PEOPLE are…. because they aren’t coming to you!”
These great words from the mouth of my mentor (World renowned POWER networker George Fraser)
You haven’t met the person that could lead you to the rewarding career or completely turn your new business around or even turn a vision to reality…. because you’re waiting on them to walk into your life.
“Faith without works is DEAD” - Do the work! Get involved. Invest in yourself. GO WHERE THEY ARE!

 I’ll stop at 6 since that number is the best number ever! Plus you can read more in my upcoming book… “Does your Net… work?” (shameless plug LOL)
I’ll close by saying this:

Follow these basic steps and then.. REPEAT!
Want to know where important people will be.. aka - the Most Powerful minds in America???
Power Networking Conference
Intercontinental Hotel
June 27-29
Dallas, TX
Visit the following link for more information:
Or contact me directly!-
As always…. SHUT UP! & #KeepGrinding

Thursday, May 23, 2013

DIY wedding binder

So I skipped the video challenge because I was guest posting however I am back!!!


So this post was a little intimidating. I mean have you ladies read your own blogs??!!! Crafts, fitness,make-up, cleaning, organizing whew. I'm good at therapy lol and there is really not a DIY way to do that besides exercise... Still I have never been the one to back away from a challenge (read: played basketball in middle school and was terrible). 

Today I am going to use an older post but focus it in a bit and give details. I am going to tell you how I created my own wedding planner binder and hopefully you will find it useful. Let me first give credit to the lady I stalked followed and who's binder I pretty much copied. You can read her post here. This site also has printables that WILL BE helpful.

So I am a Martha Stewart fan. Judge me!!!! My supplies come from her collection. You can totally get the same things from elsewhere but again I'm a Martha whore, and eventually want my home office to to be full of her stuff.

 Ha I added\my ring to try to be creative. Pin it if you like I would love you forever!!!

In front I have a hole punch that came with my original binder (that was way too much and very overwhelming see this post), a pouch for coupons,post its, pens, and samples, a card holder, and a month to month calender. I am a paper type of girl.Sure my phone has a calender but after syncing FB it is too much!!! So I stick with what works for me. You may find it easier to use an electronic calender.

Things start really happening in June LOL

I created the following dividers:

Info/Checklist- I have contact information for the bridal party, vendors, and several checklist. Google has documents you can search for wedding timelines, or use this one it all depends on what you want. I have a few because some list have things others do not.

Budget- I have a Vendor payment tracking sheet and a budget planner. I use an Excel doc to keep up with my budget.

Ceremony- I have my pastor's information, as well as the church information and contact numbers since it is not my home church. I also have the order of the ceremony. This is written on my Martha paper because I couldn't find one I wanted to copy and the Mr had his own ideas.

Photographer- A list of must have photos, the contract and receipts from the photographer, and the names of those needed for pictures.

Florist- Here is the proposal from the flower company (I will get a contract after these girls buy there dresses LOL). That is all I have here because I'm not big on flowers and really don't want them for decor.

Reception- Here I have a timeline for the reception  and ALL the information from the host hotel. This includes my contract, receipts, and menus (we haven't picked a meal yet LOL).

Wedding Planner- Here I have the contract from the wedding planner. They are providing day of coordination and they are designing the wedding. I also have samples of their work, and references.

Music- I have a list of potential DJ's and a pianist. Once I make a selection a contract will be placed here. I also have a play list and songs that we want played and when. This includes a do NOT play list as well.

Other- This is information I found on changing my name, and various honeymoon things. This section is really a honey-DO list for the Mr because he is definitely in charge of the honeymoon. I mean geesh I'm planning the whole wedding!

Gifts- Here I have a list and various gift ideas for people that need gifts including attendants and parents. We are toying with Welcome gifts but they are dependent on the budget.

Paper-  Just Martha paper... Told you I was a Martha groupie!!! Hey planning a wedding you take a lot of notes!!!

So a lot of my templates come from this site. CHECK IT OUT if you or someone close to you is planning a wedding!!! Of course google my boo Martha's weddings and you can sign up for emails and such! Tell me what you think and Pin it if you like!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Joi is really making me add more depth to my posts… I like it though *thinks about blog direction* … Im so easily distracted today LOL. Today’s challenge is to discuss what you are passionate about or to create an online vision board. It’s funny I was just telling the Mr that I needed to go get some poster and stuff for my vision board (see the mind distractions LOL)…
So Im sitting here and Im thinking what am I passionate about and nothing comes to mind because I want to be truthful. There are things I love like organizing, and I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to it, but then I don’t stick with it. I tell myself I will be a crafter but eh I get tired or do something else. Then I realized its fitness working out/running and mental health so let me see if I can combine the two.

See how happy I  am leaving the gym

 These are just random workout pics I had on my phone. LOL
I have discussed some of my journey and if you have been keeping up you know I have a bruised bone and I’m on crutches however I am still compiling workouts and circuits that I want to try, and Im literally yarning for the gym. The lifting, running, sweating and grunting. I love to hit the gym and it wasn’t until now I was able to pin point why I am in SUCH A FUNK. Sure crutches are bad and tiresome but I miss running, and timing myself and watching my body change and beating yesterdays time, or lifting more weight than I did last week. I miss working out.
If you really knew me you would understand how baffling this is. I used to not be the gym type. Always worried about my hair and making excuses to continue to be lazy. Then I finally get into a groove and boom I’m down for three weeks. It has been devastating. Let me be clear I am no guru and I usually look up workouts before I go to the gym and then look all crazy checking my phone to see what exercise is next but I Love it! I was building a mini/very small home gym with hand weights, stability ball, ankle weights, aerobic stepper, and cords and I can’t wait to get back to it.
My personal home gym  has this stuff minus the bench, and bars in the back (sorry I didnt snap a pic last night)

This is an example of what I would do in the gym... Oh how I miss it 
Now for the mental health. Bottom line I am an advocate. Goget yourself help. The idea of Wellness Wednesday (that I have been sucking at lately) actually came from this. There is such a stigma placed on mental health and it can keep people from seeking the help they desperately need. I think everyone should have 6 sessions minimum per life time. If nothing more learn time management, or just vent and not feel judged.

The world of community mental health is a dark place that I visit every Monday – Friday. I say dark because I have seen firsthand people not get what they need whether it be medication or hospitalization based on INSURANCE (the companies are evil LOL). I have also seen those who have the good (state paid for) insurance and they wont do the work. They come in every week and complain or make and appointment every wekk and not show. It can be very troubling for the therapist.
I personally LOVE this!!!
 So I say to anyone if you are noticing some disturbance in your life, having difficulty coping, unable to maintain relationships, or whatever it is GET HELP!!! Or at least work out it is free therapy in many ways!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dear Readers...

As a part of the continued challenge

PFL Mimi Blog Challenge

 I will be writing a letter to my readers. When I started blogging originally it was a place to put my hurt. I had suffered a bad break up so venting on Twitter was out. Never let them see you sweat!! Since my life has changed so has my blog. Never did I imagine that the friendships and connections would grow from such a dark place. In a sense my blog is like the rose that grew from concrete (yes I own the book by Tupac Shakur as well Im a fan)!

I am still navigating through promoting the blog, and linking to social media however all the button on the side bar are accurate and I would love to connect… I spend more time on twitter and  Instagram simply because my job got smart and blocked Pinterest but I am there too after hours . So here we go…

To my fabulous readers, I appreciate all the post comments, page clicks, and Amens!! It is worth it to know that one post can touch so many different people. Even if you follow and don’t comment, yes you, it is ok I appreciate the support. My blog is not one of a specific genre.

I’m a mom, want to be runner, therapist, fiancĂ© to one, and second time around grad student. However my blog focuses on my constant battle of the bulge and my growing love affair with exercise, and some wellness. I like to use the wellness post to vent some of the things I see working as a therapist. Occasionally I sneak in wedding planning post. I pride myself on keeping it all the way real. Life for me is not always rainbows and sunshine and this is reflected on the blog, however that kind of post is rare. (I keep a diary for that lol) No matter what the mood   I always try to conclude my post on the upswing of things because I know things will get better and they always do.

Unless my life and work are too unmanageable I try to be very engaging with readers because I know that is what keeps a person coming back. I reply to all comments via email. If your email is not attached to yur comment I will reply directly on the blog (this may take me longer to reply though). If you are new to my blog and decide to follow along for this journey let me know and I will return the favor. Again the social media links on the sidebar have my most current information and please feel free to comment or email me. I had someone email me about my polar watch and I quickly replied and thought to myself “oh they must read the blog” LOL.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Goal Setting Time- A Link up Challenge

Today I am linking up with the RX Fitness lady (if you are not following her do so now please, you can thank me later) for her mini blog challenge. The goal is to blog for 7 days using prompts she has provided. Today’s challenge is to solve a problem for my readers…

PFL Mimi Blog Challenge


Originally I thought Well who am I to give advice and I can’t struggle to even keep it together… umm then I realized I’m the same person that helps over 100 people per month at my job. Do as I say not as I do mentality over here LOL!!!!
Then I decided to use this post to help me as well. I need some new goals and not the broad I want to be happy type but goals that I can reach and know when I have reached them. Lets face it happiness? It comes and goes right? Oh that just me….

Today I want to talk about SMART goals. A goal is something that we want to accomplish and the best way to get there I have learned is to be SMART about it.
Specific (and strategic):  Answers the question—Who? and What?
Measurable:  The success toward meeting the goal can be measured.  Answers the question—How?
Attainable:  Goals are realistic and can be achieved in a specific amount of time and are reasonable. (i.e. don’t say I want to lose 50 pounds in two weeks)
Relevant (results oriented):  The goals are aligned with current tasks and projects and focus in one defined area; include the expected result. (i.e these goals have a place in your life. Im a therapist and I am terrible at math that is not related to my money or my weight so my goal would not be to become an engineer)
Time framed:  The goal has an end date. (I mean why drag it out forever. Be realistic with yourself and your commitments and then put a limit on it so you can achieve it and move on)
When setting a goal I am guilty of saying something broad like I want to lose weight. Ok that’s great but that has to be more or I could be losing weight for the next 50 years. So my SMART weight loss goal would look like this:

            I want to lose 70 53 more pounds. I will lose at least ten pounds per month for the next five months so that my goal weight is achieved by October 20, 2013…. Yes the goal can be more than one sentence!!! However its your world make I work for you!!! Hope this helped.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tell the Truth Tuesday

Tell the Truth Tuesday!!!! This idea came from the Mr. and originally thought I would be silly and say the things we are all thinking but not saying (we don’t care about Kim and Kayne’s baby, your co worker is driving you crazy) but then I decided I needed to write about my feelings and tell the truth.

If you have been reading my blog for any period of time you know that I struggle with my weight. I mean struggle struggle like tears are shed sometimes. For a while I could not understand what I was doing wrong. Then I was diagnosed with PCOS. Ugh another recipe for disaster since one of the side effects is weight gain. AAANNND Im getting married in November. Needless to say I am on a weight loss journey.

I say journey because this process has not been linear. It has not been all roses and sun shine. Some weeks I love the scale other weeks I think she is a she devil in a plot against me. Now I will admit my eating is not always the best and you cant out run a bad diet. My weight has gone up and down and toggled between numbers and then BOOM I hit ONEDERLAND.

Well I don’t know if I got cocky, or satisfied that my fat girl jeans fit again but I became lax and started falling into old behaviors. I am human and this is a daily battle for me. If you are one of the ones that eat clean with no worries KUDOS to you. I however love fried chicken and potatoes.  With my bruised bone and edema working out is a no because I'm on crutches. So I have to be very careful about what I eat.

In the mean time I did it… got on that wretched scale…and guess what? No more onederland. I weighed in at 200 and almost had a come apart. Then I decided hold on Toya you have still managed to keep off 20 pounds. Reel in these emotions and this eating. Truly I think my lowest was 196 so that’s a four pound gain and while on some level it is bad, its not the worst or unexpected. I have had weeks where I ate whatever I wanted and downed mixed drinks like I was back in my undergrad days. So four pounds ehhh I guess it will be ok this one time.

However it is not acceptable to continue this behavior especially since I’m down at least 2 more weeks. I have been taking advice from a dear person in my life and hitting the sauna. I have been throwing a pity party when really I know better. Pity party leads to emotional eating and oh hell no!!!! So instead of continuing to feel bad about these four pounds I will celebrate the 20 I have lost and kept off. 

On this journey I know I will be derailed but I WILL NOT give up. I will fight to get to goal weight and lose at least 50 more pounds. I may not reach this goal by the wedding but I will NOT be 220.

There is my truth and since we all love a good before and after shot here you go…

Monday this week, and summer sometime in 2012

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Grateful to be a Mom

Its mothers day!!! What that means is I get to be lazy and not feel guilty! LOL... I really dont have to much to say. This holiday allows me to express gratitude to the Lord for blessing me with his angel. My child really did save my life. Say what you want about teen moms, had I not gotten pregnant at 19 my life's story could be VEEEERY different. So as I enjoy being lazy this post is a dedication to the hip hop that saved my life. (If you didnt get that is a reference to a LUPE FIASCO song).

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Mothers Day!!!!

My future mother in law sent this to me and I wanted to share!!! (Love her)

Have a Happy Mother’s Day with much love!


Prettiest Moms!


Before I was a Mom
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom-I had never been:

Puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom
I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests. Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put them down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I
couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom -
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom -
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mom. 


So this is my neice but in myheart she is my first child!!!




Happy Mother’s Day….

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Im down for 3 weeks...I will not be defeated. THIS WILL NOT BEAT ME!!! This is what I have been telling myself all day since leaving the doctor... The doctor said that I have bone bruising and and edema. So basically I was doing waaaay too much for my body and it got mad.


I have fought hard to lose these 20 plus pounds and KEEP IT OFF, and trust it has not been easy. I have yo-yoed around, gone up and down like a roller coaster If you read my post yesterday then you know I have been having pain in my hip/groin area. So I went back to the doctor for the results of my MRI and I felt like I was in the twilight zone...

Ok I know your thinking this chic is dramatic but I'm 28 and I've never broken a bone, had crutches, sprain an ankle (except when I fell in step class and I didn't go to the doctor I just kept it moving)or anything of the such. So yes after getting the news that I am on crutches for three weeks I have been dramatic. I dont even know how to use them. whats even sadder is I have adjusted to the pain so I dont think I need the crutches. But I will be using them because I dont wanna do more damage.

Oh and since Im venting online.... the spots I saw were in fact cycsts.... The paper says that in the  "correct clinical setting" I would be diagnosed with PCOS (which I already have been and you can read about here).

Monday, May 6, 2013

X-rays, MRI, oh and its MONDAY!!!!

Well Monday definitely kicked my ass today. Let’s see I woke up at 7:48 I’m supposed to be at work at 8 and on a good day I leave my house at 7:15 on a regular day I leave at 7:25 so yea I was late. Then I had to cancel some clients because I had to get to the doctor… 

Oh yea I haven’t shared on here yet. So I recently (about 1 month ago) decided my goal was to workout 6 days a week. The week I started that I began to feel an intense pain in my… uh… *looking for a technical term*… hell its Monday… panty line area. The way I describe it is where my leg connects to my body. I have heard the professionals call it my hip, and groin. So I get to the doctor they do the second X-ray (I had one last Tuesday after I couldn't walk) and she talks, pokes, prods, and says it sounds “like a tear but I need to see what’s going on in there.” 

Unfortunately these X-rays only reminded me that I have PCOS, because yes I'm a doctor and can read the scans so I know exactly what I am looking at... Ummmm NOOOO I saw dots and spots that looked like cyst in my pelvic region and I'm of course freaking out thinking wow its more than when I had the ultra sound (they totally may not be cysts), and  oh yea I need to find a new OBGYN or go see the one that was slic rude. That's another post...

So then I’m sent for a same day MRI (because lets be real I cant keep taking off work, I need that PTO for the wedding and my mental health days LOL). This was the first MRI I have ever had. Let me tell you baby that small tube, coffin like, loud ass machine is not my friend. The guy who did the MRI was nice, smelled like man cologne, yes I said man cologne my daughter started that and that’s a completely different post.

Before and after the MRI... Maybe I should have brushed my hair LOL

BUT HE LIED just like a man. LOL. He told me my head would be in one spot then the machine pushes me further into the coffin like thing that is the MRI machine. A minor freak out occurred then I reminded myself that I’m a therapist and to breathe deeply and imagine myself in a safe place…. 

Now since I have been injured I have not worked out in a week. This has lead to some depression, feeling like goal weight will never occur and downright sad Sally type thinking. Do I know this is wrong? Do I know this will pass? Do I know that running is not the only way to lose weight? Yes to all. BUT I have developed a relationship with running and Im not sure I want to give it up. Since I have been running I can see some really good results. 

However I will be real, sad Sally is a TWIN to Fat Toya and we have been EATING AND DRINKING everything in sight. Nope I have not been on the scale I don’t even want to know. 

Here is what I do know engagement pictures are scheduled for June 8. I have been working my budget so that everything I wear for this shoot will be new except maybe my shoes (only because I have no more room for shoes and I have some I’m dying to have photographed). I WANT A SMALLER SIZE DAMNIT!!!!!! So you know what that means...Drinking water like I’m being paid, no alcohol except on weekends, cardio 6 days a week even if it’s the elliptical and no running, and very little if any carbs. I have to get back to what works for me… Hell the last time I did this I lost 7 pounds in one week. You think that would be enough to make me stick with it...This is a journey and I will take it day to day. 

Hello my name is Toya and I’m an emotional eater…

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