Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wellness Wednesday- Sacrificing Comfort for Change

Remember when I started Wellness Wednesday? With the new year approaching one of my goals is to be more consistent with that. Since we all like to set goals for the new year I thought this guest post  from a great friend of mine Keana would be perfect. Please enjoy!

Hey! I’m Keana Nwaneri and I’m the creator and editor of Starting the Conversation Blog. I’m a graduate, Clinical Mental Health Counseling student with a passion for mental health and total wellness. I’m originally from St. Louis, MO but currently reside in Nashville, TN


Sacrificing Comfort For Change

In the counseling world, we use the transtheoretical model or Stages of Change model to assess how “ready” and/or committed a client is, to changing a particular behavior.

With New Year’s right around the corner and everyone on social media sharing what they want to change this year, I thought I’d share a few tips on creating long-lasting change.

One of my favorite people once told me “it’s not about how much you want to loose weight, it’s about how willing you are to give up eating cheeseburgers.” I laughed because for some reason, that was hilarious to me but afterwards, I thought long and hard about that statement. It really resonated with me. Although he wasn’t talking about me when he made that statement, in a lot of ways, I was able to apply that to my own life and the things that I wanted to change but just couldn’t find the motivation to.

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The Stages of Change Model explained

The first stage of change is the precontemplation stage. In this stage, you may not even realize that there is a problem, or you may simply not be ready or willing to fix it.

The next stage of change is the contemplation stage. At this stage, you’ve admitted that there is a problem and are considering initiating change.

Next is the preparation stage. Here, you’re deciding that you want to change and preparing for action.
The next stage is the action stage. Here you are actively engaged in the process and taking the steps necessary to initiate behavior change.

Lastly, there is the maintenance stage. Here, you work to maintain the change(s) you have made.

While the stages are pretty straight forward, an important note to remember is that each person works through these stages at their own pace and unfortunately, it’s not always in this exact order. Change can be difficult, scary or just plain old uncomfortable but know that that’s to be expected. Don't let these feeling deter you from your ultimate goal or behavior change.

Being Honest with Yourself
If you find that your New Year’s Resolutions aren’t happening as fast as you would like, just take a step back, breath and be patient with yourself. However, if you find that you are making little to no progress after long periods of time, you may want to reassess your goal(s). Ask yourself:
1) Why is this goal / behavior change (BC) important to me? What does it represent, if anything?
2) How will this goal / BC improve your life?
3) Is this the only way I can go about achieving my goal / BC?
4) What will it take for me to achieve this goal /BC?
5) How willing am I to commit myself to doing what it will take to achieve this goal / BC?

After answering these questions, you should have a better idea of what it really is that you are wanting and how serious you are about doing, or not doing, what is necessary to make it happen. Because while having goals and wanting to change a behavior may sound like a great idea, you have to do the work for them to materialize, and unfortunately, there is no shortcut to success.

Ok guys if you would like to connect more with Keana you can read her BLOG and follow her other social media accounts below.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Super Woman is a Cartoon- Lets Be Real

Lately I have been having a ton of mixed unexplained emotions. This is to be expected because I had a baby on November 5 sending my emotions on a roller coaster.  I have been having some extreme mommy and wife guilt mixed with mild depression and anxiety that is on steroids. I have been feeling as if I should be doing more despite all that I am doing. Then it hit me whose standards was I using to determine how well I was doing anyway? superwoman?

 That chick doesn't exist. So in an effort to self soothe and help other women I came up with these 4 things that all new moms and women in general need to remember:

1. Appreciate that you cant do it all all the time. If your feeding the baby (or working on a project for the non moms) then in that moment your not doing anything else. So laundry, dinner, and calling your friend back all have to wait. Don't try to multi task unless you have to while the baby is so young.  You have plenty of time to become a multi tasking master.

2. Accidents happen!- They are inevitable and no one but Jesus is perfect. You will poke your baby in the cheek trying to get that onesie on. You will warm the milk to much and have to wait for it to cool as your baby screams bloody murder. You will use the breast pump and then spill the liquid gold you drained from your sore boob. Learn to laugh and move forward.

3. Do something for you even if it is small- Lets be honest sometimes getting out of bed to shower and make sure you change your pajamas is a whole task especially when you have a new baby and your always tired. However fresh pajamas and combing your hair does wonders for you. You feel a little more human and little less dairy-cow/robot if you keep up on your hygiene.  If you are a makeup lady put some on. For me its singing loudly in the shower and taking my scarf off and combing my hair. Its small but it keeps me sane.

4.Lower the bar.- This does not mean be a loser or be complacent but Pinterest, Facebook, movies and magazines will have you feeling bad because the other moms "have it all together". They craft, cook, organize all while wearing heels and a full face of make up making it look super easy. Well let me just tell you They lied!!!! They put their best foot forward on social media for the likes and other numbers and we all know tv land and magazine world is not real. Half the chicks in the magazine don't even have children that is why they don't have stretch marks.

The way I see it if you are juggling all your responsibilities and meeting deadlines in life and work you are the real super woman. Give yourself a pat on the back... too bad we dont have capes!

What are your tips for time management?
How do you stay sane when it seems you have so much to do?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

To Share or Not To Share

As a blogger I think about taking pictures of EVERYTHING. Often when I am out of topics I simply go through my phone and see what stories the pictures tell. There are times that my husband is pissed, embarrassed, or a combination off the two because I will instantly whip my phone out saying "I need it for my blog" or "I need to document that."

It wasn't until recently that I started to think, do I share too much? Does everything need to be on Instagram? I am in no way a mega blogger and I have been blessed that I have not been attacked for what I share (at least to my knowledge). Still now that I promote posts on Facebook I realize I have opened my blog up to a whole new world. Its no longer me and my bloggy world friends, its people that I know and even people that I do not like. While the exposure is great and does well for my numbers I am more aware of what I share. I am also edited in what aspects of my life I share when I never was before,

After having my son I went on a social media blackout refusing to allow others to post pictures of him and not even posting my own. I realized that some things should be kept private. When you are uploading pictures and responding to comments you cant fully be present in the moment. One thing I regret about my engagement is posting it to social media so soon. I should have waited a day because once it hit the web I was wrapped up in repeating the story and responding to comments. I should have just been in the moment with my boo.

Back to present day...My cousin came over to see my son and my mom instantly starts showing her pictures she took while I was in labor. I love my cousin but those pictures are not for everyone. It actually made me regret allowing my mom to be a part of the process. Everything is not for everybody. My lady parts were out, my hair was wrapped up, I had a towel over my head I looked a hot mess. No one needs to see that but us. No one needs to be privy to those moments except those that were there.

Then I questioned was I being to hard on my mom because I share a lot of things via this blog and my other social media accounts. Then it hit me I share MY business not others. I share aspects of my life that I don't mind others knowing, I am in control of what others see as it pertains to my life. There are a million aspects of my life and only about a thousand do I share. I shouldn't have to explain why I want to be the first to debut my son on social media. Nor should I have to defend not posting him online. He is MY child. I have sense posted TONS of pictures of my son but on my terms.

I think people should be allowed to share what they want about their lives and people need to respect that just because the picture is in their phone doesn't make it their business to share.

What do you all think? How much of your friends and families lives do you share on your social media?

Monday, November 17, 2014

4 Things to Consider When Dating with Children

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Hello world, as usual I was talking with a friend (dam is that all I do lol)  and the topic of dating while being a single parent came up. I know I know its a hot topic and as always if  you disagree with me just do so respectfully. We are all entitled to our own opinions....

I was a single parent for so long and being perfectly honest with you I dated. It was not easy or convenient. I remember when my now husband and I were dating we had a standing Friday date. I used to get off early on Friday and was able to leave mini me at after care while I had the date. Sure there were some early dates but eh it all worked out for me. I also met some people that mini me never knew existed but I survived. Here is what I learned...

Timing is everything- For me my daughter did not need to meet every guy who said hello to me. That is dumb and confusing to her. Plus I did not want her to think that love and dating involved a plethora of guys. I did not want her getting attached if the guy wasn't planing to be around. Also be honest with your self we all have dated people that we did not believe were in our best interest but we were bored, desperate, lonely or whatever.Still you don't want to fall madly in love with someone to learn that they do not like children or worse your child does not like them. So timing the introduction is critical.

Neutral Ground- One thing I tried to do was allow my daughter to meet the new prospect on neutral territory such as a park or restaurant. Sure this did not always happen but I had good intentions. It may be intimidating for the child to have the stranger all in there space.

Respect- I think in general there should be a level of respect for the child from the non parent that apparently some people do not have. For example I have a serious issue with the child sleeping at the foot of the bed with mommy and "boyfriend of the week" or daddy and his new boo. There are times when dating a single parent means your date will be suddenly cancelled because the baby sitter fell through or the child is sick. This is when you really learn who you are dating. Sure disappointment is expected but if someone throws a complete fit or asks you to chose this may not be a good mate for you as your child is permanent and we all know dates come and go.

Trust your instincts- Everyone is not right for you and your child. When people tell you they prefer not to date because you have a child LISTEN TO THEM. If your talking on the phone and they never ask about your child this is a sign. If after meeting your child they never consider any kid friendly dates this too is a sign. Its a sad fact that mates come and go and often the departure is after a child has been born. The child is innocent and did not ask for any drama between parents or to be mistreated by the new love interest in any way. So remember dating is cool but your first priority is to be a parent.


Monday, November 10, 2014

My Baby Shower Was Everything!!!

We all have been to those showers that were not so great well in my biased humble opinion that was not my shower. You know how I love to let the pictures tell the story so I am warning you now this post is very picture heavy.  Here we go...

I had my make up done by the lovely Tiffany Williams (same lady who did all my wedding makeup). She is amazing!


If you remember my bridal shower you remember the turn out was less than stellar. So this time around I only wanted a small amount of close friends to help me celebrate this joyous occasion. I was pleased with EVERYTHING and EVERYONE who showed up.

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My sister friends!!!
my sister and I

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The lovely Cochea and I...  married two weeks after me and due a couple months after me (its hard out here for a newly wed lol)

Kim and I

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Atiya, myself, Keanna

my mom and I

me and my sister

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Mrs. Salls, My sister, and mini me



So how cute are these ducks in the punch? Special thanks to Meyoshia because all I had to do was say I wanted ducks and she got them!!! (Punch= sherbet, and sprite, it was very delicious)

Chicken wings, rotel dip, meatballs

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Deviled eggs, and pasta salad

Party Favors


We were very blessed at this shower and our friends really came through for baby Jaden. I am so thankful to each of them for everything.

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In real life I am not traditional so nothing about the shower games was. For gifts we gave out fancy looking airplane shots of vodka, gin, and champagne (I know bad blogger no pictures). 

We of course played the pin game. You know don't say the word baby or I take your pin. So my husband and Cochea were running neck and neck then he slipped up while opening gifts and said "my baby will be clean" (we got a ton of baby body wash like literally over 7 bottles) so she got all the pins!!!

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We played "my water broke." You freeze the babies in ice trays (babies purchased at Party City) place the frozen ice babies in a cup of water and wait to see whose baby floats first. That person then says "my water broke."... So of course at my shower we had people biting the ice to free the baby but it was super fun!!!

Who can take the shot from the bottle the fastest. This game was hilarious. We placed a shot of alcohol and juice in a bottle and had the guest compete to see who could drink it the fastest. For those who do not drink we had a non alcoholic option (pretty sure no one opted for that). We just got bottles from the dollar tree. I didn't take pictures of that either but you get it!

We played name that celebrity baby's parents. My friend Meyoshia had a printable of celebrity baby names (Blanket, Blue Ivy, etc.) and you had to guess the parents. The final game that my mini me won was measure my tummy her measuring tape fit EXACTLY!!!.... Oh and no she did not get a airplane shot the runner up did. My sister took her to the mall to pick out a gift.

Initially I had no intentions of having a shower. However my niece told me she wanted to give me one. She is only 17 and in her senior year of high school and is quite popular. There were times when I thought she was not gonna come through because again she is 17 and living her life. However she completely proved me and anyone else who said she couldn't handle it wrong. The shower was amazing. The food, decor, games, EVERYTHING was great. Thanks niecey-poo!!!

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