How My Vision Board Brought My Travel Dreams to Life

It’s still a little surreal to me that exactly a month ago, my trip was underway, and I was on my way to London!

Habakkuk 2:2 says to write the vision and make it plain.

During my 16 hour layover on my way back from Nigeria, I had plenty of time to reflect on the previous 2 1/2 weeks. I soaked in all the experiences, and replaying everything over on my mind. The people I met, the food I ate, the weather, everything. All of a sudden my vision board came to mind, and I realized that my vision had come to life!

I’ve been hearing about vision boards for a long time, and I’m sure you have too. I’ve only made one, which I did at the end of 2016, and I’m excited to say that the majority of it has come to pass.

There’s just something about speaking and writing down what you want to see happen in your life. There’s lots of talk these days about laws of attraction, manifestation, and such. I just call it speaking things into existence. You can create the life you want once you decide to live on purpose, hold yourself accountable, and plan accordingly.

When I created my vision board, I didn’t only write about material things, I also included my spiritual life, and how I wanted my state of mind to be. I put words of affirmation on it. I put down words that were going to challenge me to get up every day and be present, not just going through the motions of life. Each one of us has our own interpretation of what being present means. To me, it’s interacting more with my kids, taking them on some of my trips so that they are exposed to other ways of living and environments. It’s not forgetting how far I’ve come regardless of all the mistakes I made. It’s taking the time to really think about the decisions I make, and not living in a fantasy world where everything will magically work out. It’s doing what it takes to live the life I want, and be the woman who I want to be.

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Marriage is not a Fairy Tale

Marriage is as old as creation itself, and it’s a subject that is always in our faces. Most women dream of their futures as a wife because wives surround us pretty much from the moment we come out the womb. I remember loving to look at wedding magazines when I was little. Looking at all the pretty dresses and jewelry made me daydream of when my day would come. In the innocence of being a child, I always had the illusion that I would get to this day without any trials or tribulations.

Boy, oh boy, if only I would’ve gotten a warning though. In my last post, I shared some reflections about my marriage. I’m now divorced, but the lessons I learned have been invaluable, so i’m thankful that I walked away with plenty of life lessons and 2 beautiful kids.

By the time I got married, I had been in some pretty awful relationships, so it wasn’t as if I had an excellent track record that was leading me to the perfect relationship. Marriage really should have been the last thing on my mind, and for a while it was. But, being the young impressionable young woman that I was, I believed all of the hype about being a wife.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe that being a wife is awesome. It’s a blessing and is wonderful when you’re married to the right person. BUT, I no longer believe that a wife determines my value. Even though I was miserable for the majority of my marriage, I felt a false sense of pride when people would point out my ring with comments like “I can’t wait until I get one of those”. I would smile because the ring and the title of wife was like a trophy that represented security, stability, happiness, and fulfillment, but deep down, I felt none of that being a wife.

This is a long story. Stick around for the rest.

I’m sure you’ll learn from my mistakes.

My 3 Day Trip to Minnesota

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that my oldest son is now in college. I met him in Minnesota to make sure that he settled in ok, and that everything was in order. And since I’m always up for a trip, I was looking forward to visiting Minnesota for the first time.

Even though I was only there for 3 days, I did not expect to like Minnesota as much as I did. I’m just being honest. It surprised me so much that I asked several people who I met how they liked it, and I got rave reviews from everyone. Several people told me that there aren’t more transplants than natives there like in other cities. I left with the feeling that Minnesota is a special place.

  1. Everyone was so friendly – if you saw my IG stories, then you know that I had a bit of an issue with the airline that I flew on. Besides that though, I really enjoyed chit chatting with the locals. Sometimes, when you go to big cities everyone seems so rushed, and the conversation can be so superficial. But, in Minneapolis, which is one of the busier cities, people seemed open to having dialogue and not just superficial conversation. I loved that!
  2. The weather  – there are over 10,000 lakes in this state! The temperature was in the high 80’s the whole time I was there, but since there’s water all over, there was always a breeze, and the air was so fresh. I was able to go for a walk, and didn’t feel like I was going to melt, even after a half hour.

I didn’t sightsee much because that wasn’t the purpose of this trip, but Minnesota definitely left me with a good impression. I’m hoping to go to the Target headquarters on my next trip, as well as other stops.

Have you been to Minnesota? If so, did you like it there?

Looking Back on My Marriage

grayscaled photography of woman wearing wedding dress
Photo by Bryllupsfotograf Forevigt on Pexels.com

I never got married thinking that one day it would end in divorce. Did I think my marriage would be perfect? Of course not. But, I realize that the signs that my marriage would not be a happy, successful one were there the whole time, but I didn’t listen to my gut feeling.

If you’re dating with the purpose of marriage, then there are a lot of things you should be looking at to make sure that you’re making the right move. And let me stop right here to throw this in – the more you’re in touch with who you are, the better your results will be! I promise you. Why? Because when you’re whole, healed, and confident, you’re not going to settle for less than you deserve.

This was the first mistake I made. I settled. Don’t get me wrong. I am in no way trying to make it seem as if everything was my ex husband’s fault because it depends on both parties whether the marriage is a success or a failure. There were clear signs before we got married gave me a clear picture of what my future with him would be like, but like so many women, I turned a blind eye. A few lies here and there, the personality switch ups, among other things that i’ll save for future posts. I paid dearly for that, and i’m writing about this because I want to help women not make the same mistakes that I did.

What am I trying to say with all this? Marriage is serious business. Do the necessary work on yourself before jumping into a relationship because one of the worst feelings ever is just making the best out of a bad, abusive, lackluster situation.

Wash and Go 201 – Products

This post of the wash and go series will discuss products that are needed for a successful wash and go. I discussed what I think is the most important element of a wash and go and the tools that are needed in my last post. Even though water is super important, you need the right products to complement your strands.

Hair Moisturizer – water and moisturizer go hand in hand. The moisturizer will keep the water penetrating your strands, which is needed so that your curls will pop, and take the definition to another level. A popular myth is that you can just wet your hair, run out the door, and your hair will hold up, but these are lies!!! Another reason this step is so important is because the ends of your hair needs all the moisture it can get. You don’t want to have moisture and definition starting from the roots, and have your ends looking dry. The ends of your hair are the oldest part, and need extra TLC.

Hair Styler – A styler is the icing on the cake. It brings everything together, and makes your curls/kinks/coils pretty. There’s also a variety of different products that you can use, depending on the specifics of your hair, like gels, smoothies, and mousse. There are SO many products available these days! There’s plenty of room to play around and figure out what works for you. Don’t fret – i’m here to help and answer questions.

You got this!

Wash and Go 101 – Water is Crucial

Last week was the first post in the Wash and Go Series – if you didn’t get a chance to read it, click here. In this post, we’re going to talk about what I think is the most important thing to get a great wash and go.

Before we continue though, let’s talk about what a wash and go is:

A wash and go is a style that involves wetting the hair and styling with minimal manipulation like twisting or braiding. It’s not a style that’s quick, but one that takes technique and time on the first day of styling to achieve maximum results that can last for additional days.

Products Needed:

  • Butterfly clips
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Hair moisturizer such as hair milk (my personal fav) or butter
  • Styling product such as gel, smoothie, or mousse (don’t sleep on mousse ya’ll)
  • Bobby pins, hair bands, or other products to style your hair

Step 1 – Wet your hair

This step is crucial if you want to avoid your wash and go looking like a hot mess. After you wash and deep condition your hair, remove the excess water from your hair with a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt without completely drying your hair. Leave your hair as wet as you can stand it. Of course, no one wants water dripping all down their neck and clothes, so remove the excess to where this won’t happen.

Do not attempt to do a wash and go on dry hair – IT WON’T WORK! Anything good takes time and effort, and your hair is not the exception. Next week, we’ll discuss the next step in achieving this. In the meantime, check your product stash and make sure you have the above listed items, and get ready to be hair goals!

 

Intro to Wash and Go’s

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When I first started my natural hair journey, and heard the term “wash and go”, I thought I found a shortcut! I thought it would be so easy – i’d put some water in my hair, throw in a few products, and be on my way. SIKE – (yes, i’m an 80’s baby)

When I first started doing wash and go’s, it looked a mess you guys. OMG. I had frizz for days. I don’t mind a little frizz, but this was a bit much. My strands were going every which way, and my hair would be so dry by the end of the day.

If you want your wash and go to look on point, the technique and products you use matter. You also have to consider the texture, density, and thickness of your hair, so that you can know the amount of water and product to use. The right amount of this, and the right amount of that will have your wash on point.

After much trial and error, and lots of practice, i’ve finally mastered it, to the point where my hair is trained, and goes in the direction I need it to go. My curls stay moisturized, and I can let them be free without looking a mess.

My next blog post will give you a step by step tutorial on how to achieve this perfect summer ‘do. Let me know what questions you have, and I’ll also answer them for you.

Empties – Skincare

Since I love beauty products, especially skincare, I thought I’d start showcasing products that I’ve used up, and give you my reviews on them.

Tree Hut Almond & Honey Body Wash – Tree Hut is hands down my favorite brand for body products. Their almond & honey lime is my favorite. It smells so good and it leaves my skin feeling refreshed and smelling good. I’ve been using Tree Hut products faithfully for the past couple of years. I like that they also have a wide variety of scents so there’s something for everyone.

Tree Hut Moroccan Rose Sugar Scrub – their sugar scrubs are the star of the show IMO. If your skin feels rough, and you’d like for it to be smooth and supple, I recommend this stuff. Your skin will feel brand new after using this. This scent is one of their stronger ones. I like it but I don’t use it with its lotion because I don’t want my scent to be overpowering. Other than that, I give it a thumbs up.

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser- I still have a little of this left, but thought I’d throw it in anyway lol. If you follow me on IG, then you know I rock with this brand. My esthetician recommend their products to me, and the rest is history. I must say though, that this is not a product that I reach to when I want fabulous results. I tend to prefer products that have more of a deep cleaning effect, but I do reach for it when I want to switch my products up. I love the smell – it’s very light, and good enough for all skin types.

I’ll be doing these every couple of weeks, so stay on the lookout!

Benefit Brow Trio Review

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up the Benefit Eyebrow Tryouts in Shade #5. The trio came with:

  1. Precisely My Brow Pencil
  2. Goof Proof Brow Pencil
  3. 24 hour Brow Setter

Eyebrows are an important part of a woman’s look, and they’re a feature that can be enhanced easily, creating a clean, fresh faced look. Here’s what I thought of the products, and how they can be used:

  • Precisely My Brow – this pencil is perfect if you like a defined look for your brows. It glides on smoothly, and it works great to outline the shape of your brows. You can also use it to fill in the sparse areas of your brows too
  • Goof Broof Brow Pencil – the slanted tip on this pencil is perfect for filling in your brows after you’ve lined them with the Precisely My Brow pencil. It did a good job of filling in my brows, while still giving them a natural look
  • 24 hour Brow Setter – this was my first time using a brow gel, and I didn’t realize previously that a brow gel can give them a more polished look. All I needed was one swipe, and I could tell the difference. The brow setter also has a wide brush, so it was able to cover the perimeter of my eyebrows all at once, making for easy application.

This product get a thumbs up from me, but I wouldn’t use it during the week only because I’m in too much of a rush with work and kids to have to use 3 different products for my brows. It’s perfect though, for when you have an extra 5-10 minutes, or you can use them each on their own.

How’s a Single Mom Able to Travel?

At the Lekki Conservation Camp, Nigeria

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step – Lao Tzu

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always dreamed of traveling all over the world. I remember watching tv as a child, literally wanting to go to all the countries I would see on the screen. As an adult, one of my favorite programs to watch is Rick Steves’ Europe. I have no problem watching the episodes multiple times, imagining the day when I’ll get that country’s stamp in my passport.

I’m a single mom of 3, and it surprises people how often i’m able to travel. My kids also come along on some of my trips, and it all comes down to having a system in place. I travel by myself every other trip because I want my kids to be well rounded individuals who know that there’s a life besides what is in their immediate surroundings, but I also travel by myself because:

  1. My kids are in school, so I can’t just pull them out every few months for a trip. It’s all about balance.
  2. I need my alone time to recharge, refresh, and be the best version of myself.
  3. It would definitely be very expensive for the 4 of us to travel together all the time

It is possible though, to be a single mom, pay all your own bills, and travel! There’s such a stigma that people can try and project on you when you’re divorced, but only if you let it. All you need is to plan your finances out, and come up with a plan.

Plane tickets – I mostly travel by plane so this is the mode of transportation that i’m focusing on. Start looking for your flights about a month before you plan on purchasing, and check whenever you get a chance, every day, so that you can pick up on any trends in fare increase or decrease. Clear the cookies on your computer, and check from different devices so that you can get cheaper fares. I pay even closer attention the closer I get to my travel date because when I notice the price drop, I wait for the second day. If the fare drops again the second day, I buy my ticket that day. These airlines are not dumb, so you have to play around with different tactics that will result in a cheaper plane ticket for you.

Cut costs– One thing that I do is take the bus to and from work instead of driving. This saves me $300 a month! Do you know how far $300 can stretch if you travel somewhere where the exchange rate for the US dollar is strong? Times that by a couple of months, or however long you need to save, also taking into account how much you plan on taking (take into account extra expenses like tipping people at the airport, souvenirs, church/charity donations, etc), and you should be just fine. You just need to plan it out.

Pack Light(er) – this is one is the one i’m still working on, and I’m sure the ladies reading this can relate. After my last trip, I realized that I really need to figure out a way to pack lighter. These airlines are ridiculous when it comes to baggage fees – they could care less that you just paid hundreds of dollars for your ticket – the airlines that will let you take your bags on for free are few. You can save at least $50-$100, depending on the airline, if you limit your luggage to 1. If you can make that 1 your carry-on, that’s even better. As a woman who loves to pack makeup and body products, not to mention my natural hair products, along with everything else, this is not easy, but i’m determined to pack less and less with each trip. The money I’m saving on extra luggage can be used to eat delicious meals, like my favorite meal that I ate every morning in Nigeria – yam, egg mash, and stew.

Motherhood is the most rewarding, but hardest job ever. Add being a single mom on top of that, and the challenges multiply. You deserve to treat yourself to ultimate self care.

Where do you dream of getting away to? You can do it.

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