Where Did The Time Go?

I write this as I sit at my desk at work on a Friday.  Feeling so restless.  David and I have been in our new place for several days.  We’re still not adjusted. New scenery, new noises, and new neighbors.  However, I can’t wait any longer.  I need to get back into a groove.  I stalled on all my projects for most of June and ALL of July because I wanted to focus on “the move”.  Now that it’s over I just want to get started on “me” again.  I want to get back into a workout routine.  I want to plan things for this blog and the YouTube channel.  I want to write again.  I miss it so much.  I think back to 2016 and how motivated I was to finish my first book.  Then 2017 began a slow decline on my confidence as a writer.  Then 2018 rolled around and I felt like I could jump back on the saddle.  Only for life to constantly put speed bumps in the way.  Speed bumps that I turned into moats wider than the Pacific Ocean.  The first 60 percent of my year (don’t panic but we are in August now people) has been full of starts-to-stops-to…never starting again.  But like the saying goes…”It’s not how you start but how you finish that counts.”

 

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Fab Five

laugh emoji

Laughter

Laughter is so necessary for my soul.  I think if my spirit had a noise attached to it, it would be a laugh.  There are times when I am feeling low.  Sometimes those low moments are in the middle of being swamped with important tasks.  So what do I do to lift my spirits?  I either think of a funny moment from my past or think of a funny joke.  Have you laughed today?

dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate

I could state all the scientific and nutritional facts associated with consuming dark chocolate. However, dark chocolate’s worthy mention is because it is simply my most craved type of chocolate. As a child I was milk chocolate all the way.  Then my taste buds discovered white chocolate (Hello…Hershey’s Cookies & Cream candy bar).  As I grew older, small nibbles here-and-there resulted in me absolutely loving the marriage of bitterness and sweet that dark chocolate brought.  It’s almost my own version of black coffee, no sugar-no cream.  It’s an instant pick-me up.  O yea…and it’s healthy.

alabama shakes

Alabama Shakes

I can’t remember when I stumbled on blues rock band, the Alabama Shakes. It was some time around their debut album (Boys & Girls) I’m sure. The first time I heard Brittany’s strong, deep, soulful, and at times raspy voice surrounded by funky chords was on the song “You Aint Alone”.  I instantly wondered “who is that?”.  I had to hear more of them. I then heard “Give Me All Your Love” and instantly became a fan.

evolution motivation

Evolution

I love to see people making moves.  Whether it’s a friend returning to school to further their education. Or a co-worker deciding they want an entire career change and deciding to leave their current job to follow their dreams.  I love to see progression.  People are meant to evolve.  Setting goals, working for those goals, and then attaining them is completely awesome to see.  I want to see people not giving up.

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Dark Colors

Green is my favorite color.  When I’m not loving all things green I gravitate towards deep purple, dark blue, and black.  Those colors do not make a happy and bright color palette.  But those colors excite me. Like green makes me think of sunny spring days, deep purple (not the band) makes me think of beautiful flowers. Dark blue makes me think of the ocean, above and beneath the horizon. Black makes me think of power.  All three stir an emotion in me.

Fab 5

trap music

  • I love “secular” music and gospel

This is a tricky subject to navigate. There is that saying that you should be mindful of your thoughts. I do agree. The devil is always busy. However, there’s only so much Mary Mary, Hezekiah Walker, etc. that I can handle before I need Cardi B to save me from the remainder of my long work day. Besides nothing gets me through a run better than Drake telling me he’s proud of me!

“I know things get hard, but girl, you got it

Girl, you got it, there you go

Can’t you tell by how they looking at you everywhere you go?”

 

fitness (vectortoons)

  • Fitness is important

Physical activity is important. It’s just that plain and simple. I feel so sluggish and moody when I haven’t worked out in awhile. The endorphins that flow when I’ve done a good workout are great and help to keep me motivated. The older I get (thank da Lawd) the real-er my health has become. Could I live in the gym 5 days a week? That’s a “No” for me. Supplementing with long walks, quick jogs, zumba, and hitting the weights hard when I can make it to the gym will have to suffice. Exercise is a must.

MEDITATION

  • Self-Care is vital

I’m a loner. I am fully secure in myself as such…sometimes. I can spend an entire day rummaging through the thoughts in my head. From significant moments from childhood-to-awkward moments at the fast food drive through yesterday. The data-processor (AKA my mind) doesn’t seem to take a break. However, I also need those precious moments with people I love and also random interactions with strangers. The moments alone help me reflect and grow. The moments with others enrich my soul and allow me to learn by either listening or simply being present. Self-care for me can’t be about solitude alone. I have to regress into myself briefly. Then it’s time to dive into others and pick their brains. It’s all apart of growth.

 

love language

  • Love and Be Loved

Everyone expresses their love differently. Everyone wants love expressed to them differently. Being married has taught me to think less about what I want and how I want to be loved and to be mindful of what my husband needs. A few of our love languages are the same, but not all. Tuning into him has helped me become a better partner. Figuring out how to show him love the way he connects best with has helped me and above all it has helped us.

genuine

  • I Crave Genuine People

One of my favorite podcasts seems so out of place in my entertainment schedule. I’ve been listening to this podcast for nearly 5 years. There’s cursing, vulgarity, hilarity, and the podcast is hosted by an ex-con turned comedian and his naive co-host. Above all those things, there is honesty and vulnerability.  Social media is full of people “faking the funk”. It is refreshing to hear the perspective of life from someone who isn’t trying to be someone else. To hear from someone who has lived a life and isn’t afraid to talk openly about the good and bad reminds me to stay grounded and to always be myself. I listened to several podcasts that offer that genuine flavor. I also seek it in my interactions with others, although I often end up empty-handed.

Just my Fab 5

Keshia

Fellow Okie – Hillary Rankin

A love for food is the thing I have most in common with Hillary Rankin. Not only do we share a love for food, but we also share a love for curating our favorite things on a blog to share with everyone. Hillary is the brain, face, and architect behind 918plate.com, a blog showcasing her love for food.

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photo: 918plate.com

  • What’s your name?

Hillary Rankin

 

  • What is the name of your blog/website?

918 Plate, www.918plate.com

 

  • What city in Oklahoma do you call home?

Tulsa!

 

  • What’s your favorite thing about Oklahoma?

My favorite thing about Oklahoma is the people. My family is from the OKC area, and my grandmas are both there. The people I’ve met since living here as an adult have been lovely and hospitable. Tulsa is also packed with local and startup restaurants and food businesses, which I absolutely love.

 

  • Compared to other places you’ve traveled, what stands out most about Oklahoma?

Here in Oklahoma, the cities aren’t too big, but still have everything you need. There isn’t the hustle and bustle of being a bigger urban hub like a Dallas or Chicago, and I am still able to build relationships and connect with people to give it more of a tight-knit-community feel.

 

  • Tell me a little bit about your blog/website.

I started 918 Plate in the summer of 2015. It focuses on recipes made with local Oklahoma ingredients, spotlighting Oklahoma businesses or farms, as well as what you can grow in your own garden in Tulsa. I post once a week, on Tulsa Time Thursday.

 

  • Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts and/or updates to your website?

I love to use family recipes, because they always come with a story. But primarily, I try to use the inspiration of seasonal offerings to plan what I will be cooking!

 

  • How can people contact you?

www.918plate.com

You can find me @918Plate on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/918Plate

I am glad that I had the opportunity to feature Hillary as a Fellow Okie. Please check out her blog and find her on social media!

Tips For Self Care

The Working Mom

  • Cut Yourself Some Slack

We all make mistakes. It’s simply destined for we, as humans, to do so. Don’t spend your valuable time dwelling on those mistakes. Learn from them. Grow from them. Move on.

  • Make Fun A Priority

The day-to-day hustle can be very consuming. Try to mix it up a bit and find something extraordinary in the mundane. Put your favorite song on repeat. Go roller skating with your friends on a whim. Go swing on a swing-set. Enjoy life!

  • Pursue A Hobby

Do you like to paint? Maybe you used to love to collect comic books. Find a hobby to help you de-stress. Immersing yourself into something you love will allow you to find a sense of joy in your actions. It can also take your mind off stressful events.

TIPS FOR SELF CARE

  • Ask For Help When You Need It

It’s not always easy, but sometimes asking for help is necessary. If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed at work or at home, ask for help. You don’t have to handle everything alone.

  • Prioritize What Matters Most

Make a list of the things that matter most to you and why. Make sure YOU fall within the top three on that list. That’s right. You need to make sure that you are a priority on your own list of importance. While you’re looking after everyone else, who is looking out for you? Take the time to prioritize your life.

What tips are you taking to make sure you’re practicing “Self Care” this year?

Thanks for reading!

Black Travel Bloggers You Should Know

COLORMYFOOTSTEPS.COM

We out here y’all!

Black travel aficionado’s are all over. Thanks to social media platforms, like Instagram, it’s more common to see people of color from the USA hanging out and exploring foreign lands. I have to admit I smile from ear-to-ear when I see people who look like me boarding a flight to a different country or embracing different cultures where they don’t see a familiar face.

I decided to share some of the black travel buffs that I have come across through social media over the years.

Brian – Beyond BMore

 

beyondbmore

photo: beyondbmore.com

I stumbled upon Brian via a YouTuber I follow, TheChicNatural, a few years ago. If you can’t tell by the name, Brian is from Baltimore, MD. Years ago, Brian made the decision to explore beyond the dicey streets and neighborhoods he knew and see what the other streets, cities, and countries across the globe had to offer. Brian has traveled to 31 countries (feel free to say “Whoa”) and doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon.

Ashlee – Will Drink For Travel

willdrinkfortravel

photo: willdrinkfortravel.com

The social media handle alone should make you smile Will Drink For Travel. Sign me up! I found Ashlee sometime ago, via Instagram, and was instantly intrigued. Ashlee provides her own perspective on travelling with one of the main focuses being tasty and flavorful food and of course drinks. Her website includes drink recipes, most inspired by different regions across the globe. Whether solo or in groups, she always seems to end up in the best places.

Tracey – Brooklyn Travel Addict

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photo: brooklyntraveladdict.com

Tracey may look familiar. I’ve featured her in a blog post before. If that’s not where you recall her face, then you may know her as one of the creative minds behind Curlfest. The annual event to celebrate curly hair. Tracey inspires me so much and I can’t help but to live vicariously through her social media posts, at least until I can do my own travelling. She always offers the best insight on places and events. From Cuba, India, and South Africa…she’s been there and done that.

Kellee – Kellee Set Go!

kellee

photo: kelleesetgo.com

I’ve been fan-girling over Kellee for quite sometime. She’s a pilot, deep-sea diver, and all around adrenaline junkie, and I love it. Did I mention she’s also the host of the Travel Channel show Mysterious Islands? She’s been to at least 35 countries. Yep, 35! To see a black woman accomplishing so much and not slowing down for a minute is exciting. If she doesn’t compel you to try new things, than I don’t know who will.

This list only scrapes the surface of black travel influencers out there. If you’re looking for inspiration or tips don’t hesitate to look these people up. There is so much more world out there than what we see with our own eyes everyday.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Summer Photo Wrap-Up 2017

Hey y’all!

It’s been a nice (and quite hot) summer! I took a nice hiatus from blogging over the summer. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been occupied with other things!

My favorite products and items for summer!

We tried some new and interesting snacks!

We stopped by the Annual Porter Peach Festival!

Tulsa hosted a Local Luau at Guthrie Green in downtown Tulsa! We stopped by and had a great time and ate some delicious food!

Hope you enjoy the videos! Thanks for stopping by the blog!

 

 

Skip a Few Beats

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Coffee mug from Ida Red Boutique on Brookside.

Hey y’all!

I can’t help but quote music producer Timbaland when I say

“It’s been a long time…I shouldn’t have left with…without a dope beat to step to…”

I haven’t graced this beautiful blog with words handpicked from my brain in quite awhile. Don’t worry, no life-altering event has happened to me. However, changes needed to be made.

After our awesome trip to Denver, CO in March I was faced with a question. How am I prioritizing my life?

Just like most women I wear many hats. First, I am a wife. I also work a full-time job, 5 days a week (not mentioning overtime). I also have these cool hobbies (this blog, and YouTube videos), I am trying to finish writing my 2nd book (while still promoting my 1st). I contribute articles to a natural hair blog. I am a daughter and a sister. And of course I have to tack on going to the gym 2 to 3 times a week and squeezing in spending time with family and friends and well…at some point something has to give.

I realized the hard way that I cannot do it all and expect that effort to be 100 percent. No one can. Something will suffer. Your mental health, your physical health, your relationships, and/or your career, can easily begin to become harder and harder to manage.

So taking note of the draining path I was on I decided to take a break from certain things. The world isn’t going to crumble if I don’t get a blog post up, or a YouTube video uploaded. However, missing time with loved ones or giving a lackluster performance at work is not acceptable.

It comes down to balance. There’s a time and place for everything. Finding the time to do certain things and learning what to reschedule or even what to scrap.

I am definitely not walking away from the blog  (my baby). But there will be times when I’ll have to take a brief hiatus. Thank you all for understanding.

You’re awesome!

How To Save Money For Travel

 

How To Sav Money For Travel

Have you ever scrolled through someone’s social media page and wondered how they seem to always be somewhere awesome? I’m sure you have. We all have! I’ve even gone as far as to drop whatever Iwas doing and hop onto an airline website to see how much tickets were to a far away place. Only to slowly fall back into reality when I realize that even if with the cheapest tickets I still would be digging deep into my bank account to pay for the trip. Since beginning this blog I have racked my brain with ways I can save money to pay for my travel adventures. I hope you find at least one option on my list helpful when you need to come up with funds for travel.

  • A Piggy Bank

piggy bank

I know, I know a piggy bank sounds a bit ridiculous. However, I am referring to a direct deposit account either with your bank or an online banking service. Direct deposits are typically automatic and are electronic. Since you don’t see the cash you’re less tempted to spend money. An example of a good online banking service is Smarty Pig. Smarty Pig allows you to set up an account (using your typical personal information), choose where the money is deposited from and what your goal is. It will keep track of your money and give you an estimate of how long it will take you to reach your goal. Once you have reached your goal you can close the goal and receive your money (give or take a few days).

  • Odd Jobs

dog walker

We all have talents and gifts. Why not put those talents to use to earn some travel dough? If you’re computer savvy you can sign up on websites like Fiverr. Fiverr is a company that allows people looking for help with technology based projects find and pay those who are skilled in that area. If you’re not big into technology there are other things you could do. For instance if you love animals you can walk dogs and/or pet-sit. If animals are not your thing, you can also offer to be a personal assistant for a family member or friend. You could pick up their dry cleaning, drop their kids off at school or do their grocery shopping. Most family members and friends may feel reluctant to allow you to do that but once you explain what the money will be used for they should understand and be willing to help you out.

  • Sell Your Junk

resell

A quick way to make a few bucks is to sell items that you no longer need. Make a sign, set your things outside on the lawn and sell away! A yard sell is a quick and simple way to sell items. If a yard sale is not your speed you can sale unwanted or old clothing to clothing resale stores. If you have electronics that you no long want you can sell those items on Ebay or even your local pawn shop.

  • Clock In

job

It’s not something that most of us want to do. However, sometimes we have to put the rubber to the road, pull our sleeves up, burn the midnight oil, and…well…you know what I mean. Sometimes your best bet is to get a temporary or part-time job. I say temporary or part-time because I’m assuming most people reading this already have a full-time job or maybe go to school full-time. Temporary jobs (sometimes called seasonal jobs) are great because they are exactly that…temporary. The hours you spend working will help your travel budget and there is no long-term commitment in place. A part-time may have a little more commitment involved but you won’t have to spend grueling long hours a day working. If you put the money you earn at these jobs towards travel you will be on your way in no time.

   Traveling takes the ink out of one’s pen as well as the cash out of one’s purse.
– Herman Melville

 

There are other options for saving money to use for travel adventures. I hope the ones I listed here are helpful to you. Thanks for reading!

 

April Photo Wrap-Up 2017

Hey everyone!

The time has arrived once again for the monthly Photo Wrap-Up. So here’s a peek at what went on with me throughout the month of April!

Before I get carried away with this post I should mention my Spring Favorites video. Just in case you missed it!

Now on to the rest of April!

David and I visited the most iconic waterfall in Northeast Oklahoma, Natural Falls. The area was very beautiful and worth a trip if you’re in the area.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

As you know, David and I are definitely foodies. We strayed away from our typical breakfast spot, Village Inn, and decided to eat at IHOP (Internal House of Pancakes). Let’s just say a buy one meal get one free coupon may have seductively influenced that decision.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

I am doing much better handling my stress levels at work. March was a hard month for me. However, I am pushing through. Like the saying goes, once you’ve hit the bottom the only place to go is UP!

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

We enjoyed a wonderful Easter weekend. It was a little rainy, but that is typical for Oklahoma weather around this time. I can’t complain. I also began my manual car lessons. I never thought that I would be learning how to drive a stick shift in my 30’s.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

I got a much needed hair trim. Sometimes it’s the little things that really add up and make a difference. I am really enjoying my hair now. This natural hair journey is not always easy. There are times I get so frustrated but there are times that are completely great! You have to take the bad with the good. Enjoy the good times while you can.

Thank you guys for reading! You are awesome! YES YOU!

You can find Colormyfootsteps on Facebook and Instragram!