Decorating On A Budget…

When I moved into my apartment two years ago, I had to purchase all new everything with the exception of some smaller items that I had stored in my best friends attic.  IKEA was one of my best friends because I could get everything reasonably priced.  However, everything needed to be put together.  I purchased my dining room table from FaceBook Marketplace, which was a really great find.  Then, I just had to have an electric fireplace, which I purchased through QVC (monthly installments, sweet!).  Prior to moving in, I came up with this grand idea that I wanted my kitchen appliances, Keurig, and table ornaments red and purchased red table mats, red balls to go into my silver tray, and red chair mats.  However, I later decided to have a theme each month, which has been quite a bit of fun.  For me, it’s nothing like walking into my dining area, and seeing a different setting from month to month.

I have various colored chair cushions, plates, mugs, glasses, napkins silverware, vases, flowers, bows, etc.  I bought items from Amazon, AC Moore, and even the dollar store.  I learned to mix and match the items after accumulating enough.  Sometimes, I would have two different colored chair cushions or I’d use the different vases with flowers or stones.  Believe it or not, my Dollar Store finds weren’t bad and, unless you looked really closely, you would never know.  AC Moore is notorious for their coupons, and I would wait until I had a pretty decent one to shop.  I even got a few items from the thrift store at my place of employment.  My point is, everything doesn’t have to be expensive.  You just have to know how and where to shop for the best deals.

I love seat cushions because I think they add flare and a pop of color to my wooden chocolate colored chairs.  However, I refuse to pay an exorbitant amount of money; therefore, I do some comparative pricing before making my purchase.  You can get some good prices on Amazon, but I also saw seat cushions at Walmart for $5.00 each although they are limited in their selection of colors (this was in the store, not sure about online).  I have also gotten chair cushions from the Dollar Store but they were primarily just for decoration as they were extremely thin, but what do you expect to get for $1.00 anyway?

Since we are in the Christmas season, I thought I’d share some of ways that I decorated my dining table — all on a budget…

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Christmas 2017 (first Christmas in my new place) – Gold tree and table runner from the thrift store at my place of employment, Santa chair covers from the Dollar Store, and red cushions from Amazon. Entire set up for less than $35.00.  The cushions were the most expensive item.

 

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Christmas 2018 – Tableware (plates and mugs) compliments of the Dollar Store, centerpiece purchased from the thrift store at my place of employment, chair cushions from the previous Christmas. Total for this set up was $20.00.

 

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Christmas 2018 – Stocking from Oriental Trading Company, rocking Santa that snores, picture frame and gold tree (same tree from previous year). This set up cost roughly $31.00 (only because of the rocking Santa).

 

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Christmas 2019 – This year I was going for simple elegance. However, I was still on a budget. Chair mats (from 2017), silver plates from the Dollar Store, red plates from Amazon (purchased last year), red and silver rhinestone ribbon (compliments of my son), wine glasses (gift from years ago), vase (another gift), pine cones (Thanksgiving 2018), gold tree (from 2017), ribbon and stems in vase (AC Moore). Total cost for this year’s theme was approximately $30.00.

 

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Christmas 2019 – Sleigh is from 2018, stocking is from 2017 (added ribbon to cover initial), picture frame and rocking Santa from 2018. Total cost is $3.00.

As you can see, I’ve paired my decorations with different things for each year with the exception of the red chair cushions.  To get the most out of your decorations, try mixing and matching.  Not only will you feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth, but also like your “old stuff” is “new.

I’m sharing this short video clip of the rocking Santa because it’s my granddaughters absolute favorite.  According to her, this is what I sound like when I’m sleeping.  I certainly hope not.  LOL!

 

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Why break the bank when you can decorate on a budget?

Start with an idea, and build from there.

Remember, always shop around for the best prices.

Love ya,

Grace

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When You Love Food, But It Doesn’t Love You in Return…

Lady eating and contemplating Binge Eating Disorder vs Basic Overeating

These is how I felt on days that I just couldn’t seem to stop eating…

Image: An overweight woman on July 16.

Don’t you just hate it when people look at you non-discretely because you’re a little on the heavy side?  You see them and either they are unaware of the look they’re giving you or they simply don’t care.  Either way, it still hurts.

We’ve all seen people at the Smorgasbord (all you can eat restaurants), and wonder how they can consume so much food.  Heaven forbid if they are really on the larger side, then they get the side eye.  People ask “Why are they here, and how can they eat like that?”  I’m ashamed to admit that I used think the same thing in my younger days — that is, until I matured.  The reality of it is we don’t know what drives people to eat the way they do, so we really shouldn’t judge them.  Is it healthy to be overweight?  Of course not!  We all know that.  Being ample brings on a string of health related illnesses — some we can control if we lose weight, and for others we have to take daily medication to manage our disorder(s).

At one point, I weighed 206.4 pounds, and was told by my doctor that I was obese.  That was the first time someone had said that to me.  I was like, “Whoa, what is she talking about?” I thought to myself, “I’m not anywhere close to being obese“.  Chunky, yes — obese, definitely not!  I later came to realize that I had packed on the pounds because of the stressors in my life.  Food was my comfort — the only thing I could control and didn’t have to share with anyone else (except for when my son used to help me eat the snacks that I had bought for myself; I didn’t ask him to nor did I want him to — they were for me and me alone).  The funny thing is that when I was younger and weighed only 115 pounds, I couldn’t eat when I was stressed; thereby, losing weight when I couldn’t afford to because it left me pure skin and bones.

When I was a teenager and into my 20s, I desperately wanted to gain weight.  I ate and ate and ate and ate some more, but was still as thin as a rail — that is, until I reached the age of 30.  I had finally reached a weight that I was pleased with.  However, by the time, I reached 40, I had started to really put on weight.  Although I knew what the numbers on my scale read, I didn’t realize exactly how much weight I had actually gained until I looked at photos.  I couldn’t believe that was really me.  However, that wasn’t enough to make me change my ways.   I continued to eat and just bought larger sized clothing, and completely ignored the fact that I needed to do something.  I couldn’t bring myself to stop my out of control eating habits; therefore, I continued on a downward spiral.

After years of eating and a pretty sedentary lifestyle, I decided to do something and managed to lose 27 pounds, and finally felt pretty good about myself.  However, I allowed my stressors to control my bad eating habits again, and gained most of the weight back.  The next time I attempted weight loss it was extremely difficult because I was going through menopause.  Due to this fact, it was virtually impossible to shed a pound without adding exercise to my daily regimen although I had cut back on my eating.  Do I have a number of stressors in my life now?  Heck yeah, but I can’t allow them to drive me back to overeating.

We consume tons of food on a regular basis (let’s face it, for a good majority of us, what we eat is unhealthy).  Some have become fast food junkies because you don’t have time to cook or are just too tired after a day’s work.   You have convinced yourself that it’s so much easier just to pick up something on the go, so that you can go home and relax a little before you start your daily routine again the next day, all the while failing to take time for yourselves.

Some people are extremely disciplined, and are able to diet by eating what is called clean food.  If I had to diet, I would literally die.  Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration and is certainly overkill, but you get my point.  I’m not that disciplined, so I don’t deprive myself of anything that I want to eat — I just eat less of it.  What I have learned is not to set myself up for failure by setting unrealistic expectations (so no dieting for me).  I’ll admit that I have cut out sodas for the most part, only having one or two or three on rare occasion, but then I have to detox because soda is sooooo good but loaded with lots of sugar and calories.  I’ll have my calories in my food, thank you very much.  LOL!

Unfortunately, a lot of our unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise precipitates various illnesses, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and yes even hair loss (this topic will be covered in a later blog).  Some have developed joint pain (bad knees, back and/or hips) as a result of carrying too much weight on their frames.  Ouch!

Several months ago, my 4-year-old granddaughter touched my stomach.  I said to her, “I’ve got to lose it”.  Her response was, “No, I like the fat”.  LOL!  She has since changed her tune.  Recently, she rubbed my stomach and said there was a baby in there.  Okay.  I guess kids do say the “darnedest” things!  However, that was not funny at all! After her comment, I know that I need to stop playing and do something.  I have to take my life back and be more committed.  I have to make the time.  Thankfully for me, my place of employment started a walk/run challenge a few weeks ago, and I try and be devoted to walking and running a little five days a week.  I’m down several pounds, my knee is getting stronger (from a previous knee injury), and I’m able to get into a dress that I couldn’t even think about wearing (the pockets sit out a little, but give me a few more weeks).

As we close out the month of October, Thanksgiving and Christmas are quickly diet concept. frightened girl in the stress and flying around thapproaching.  Now, these two holidays are my biggest weakness because I love all of the food associated with them.  I’m going to have to exercise wisdom and good judgement so as not to overindulge in all of my favorite foods.  Food, I hear you calling me, but I’m not listening.  “Lalalalala!”  My menu usually consists of macaroni and cheese (no less than four or five different types of cheeses; my kids wouldn’t let me live it down if I didn’t fix this because it’s their absolute favorite), fresh greens cooked in the crockpot with hammocks (yummy), sauerkraut with pigtails (love it), sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top (I want some now), fried chicken or turkey, and roast beef or spare ribs.  Oh, and how can I forget cranberry sauce and rolls.  Some of this is unhealthy, and you may be asking yourselves, “Does she really eat that?”  The answer is, “Yes, I do”.  I’m salivating right now just thinking about it.  Sooooooo, this year, I’m determined that I will not allow my eyes to be bigger than my stomach (although I must admit that’s pretty big; one of my friends calls it a “booty do” and that means that your stomach sticks out more than your “booty do”; I know, I know, gotta do something about that).  I will decide which holiday to go all out for and scale back on the other one.  Boy, is that going to be tough.  These two holidays are not just tough for me for a number of people as we are exposed to cookies, cakes, pies, egg nog, and all of the delicious foods.  It’s extremely difficult to resist these temptations.  We can enjoy them all, but we have to remember that moderation is key.

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For those of you who exercise portion control and discipline, I really do applaud you.  You
have control over your life, and told the food that you’re in the drivers seat.  I do ask one thing of you, however, and that is that you be patient with those who aren’t quite there yet.  Please don’t judge people’s poor habits.  For some, it’s extremely difficult.  So rather than looking at them with disgust and asking, “Are you really going to eat that,” maybe you could say “I make a mean (whatever your healthy dish is), I’ll let you try it the next time I prepare some.”

Ladies (and gents), portion control does indeed play a huge role — but let me just say for those of us who are in this struggle — it ain’t easy; however, it’s not impossible.  Take one day at a time.  If you fall off the wagon, don’t stay off — get back on.  Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up about it and wind up throwing your hands up in the air in defeat.  You can do it!  You got this!  We got this!

Why wait until the New Year to start working on the “new” you?

You can start now and get ahead of the game.

Start off slow.

Then, gain momentum as you become stronger and more disciplined.

 

These photos are from 2014 when I was at my heaviest weight.

 

These photos are all from 2019; however, the weight is from 10/31/19.

 

Halloween – 2014 vs. 2019

As I look at the photos that I’ve posted, I realize just how much of a journey it has been for me these past years to lose the weight, and try to keep it off.  I imagine I’ll be in this struggle for the rest of my days because I love food.  However, I can’t and won’t give up.  I’ve come too far — no matter if I should fall off the wagon from time to time.

P.S.:  By the way, if you have a recipe that you’re just dying to share with the world, please forward it to me at grace.deveraux@yahoo.com so that it can be featured in one of my upcoming blogs sometime between the beginning of November and the New Year.

P.S.S.:  If you have a topic that you would like to see posted, please contact me at grace.deveraux@yahoo.com.

Always remember, GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-E…

COMMUNICATE:   To convey knowledge of or information about : make known communicate a story; to reveal by clear signs; to cause or pass from one another.  To transmit information, thought or feeling so that it is satisfactorily received or understood by two sides failing to communicate with each other.  

Image result for communicationI cannot express just how vital communication is.  Recently, I almost lost the relationship that I had with one of my best friends.  We were communicating via text message, and I thought they were saying one thing and I responded the way I understood the comment.  Needless to say, I misunderstood their message and took the entire conversation out of context.  They, in turn, took my message out of context as well.  A couple of days went by and I couldn’t stand the silence any longer, so I reached out to them not knowing if they would be willing to communicate with me or not.  They did, and things were ironed out.  Sometimes, you just have to use the traditional method of talking face to face.  I’m all for technology, but there are times when you have to go old school.

Communication doesn’t just exist between a husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend or friends, but it exists in every facet of our lives.  We use the art of communication daily no matter the relationship (children, coworkers, etc.).

Image result for communicationCan you read my mind?  Absolutely not!  How many times have we gotten upset with someone when they didn’t do something we desired of them, but we never communicated our requests with them to in the first place.  Perhaps, we figured our thoughts were being transmitted telepathically.  Really?  The poor unsuspecting person had no idea why you were so ticked off with them as they scratched their heads in the wonder of it all, which is totally unfair to them.

Sometimes, you are attempting to communicate; however, it is very apparent that the other party is either distracted or clearly not interested in anything you have to say.  When my sister and I were growing up, it seemed like whenever I opened a book to read, she wanted to communicate about one thing or another.  Because I loved to read, I really wasn’t listening.  I figured out a way to say, “Uh, huh” at the right time; however, she caught on that I wasn’t really listening and would quiz me on what she had said by asking me to repeat it.  Of course, I was unable to do so.  It hurt her feelings, so I learned to listen and communicate with her.

Have you ever met someone that it’s virtually impossible to communicate with because they misconstrue everything you say?  Now, that’s a topic that I could write a book about.  There was someone that I couldn’t communicate with to save my life.  We’d start off talking, and then it would inevitably turn into a full blown argument.  Why, you may ask?  They didn’t really hear what I was saying, but rather made it about them and didn’t really care about my thoughts or feelings.  Of course, that didn’t fly with me; therefore, we didn’t have much of anything that we could communicate with one another.

Some people like to communicate when they are angry.  Let me just tell you, if you haven’t already figured it out, that’s not the right time because things are often said in the heat of the moment that you can’t take back.  Feelings are hurt and, even though you apologize, the wound is there.  I’m the type that needs to walk away to cool down if things really get out of whack.  You have to know yourself and what you can or cannot handle.  It’s okay to excuse yourself and say, “Can we discuss this later because right now I’m pretty angry and I need to calm down and process?”.  Now, the person may be willing to do that or they may just be determined to continue down the path where no one wins or hears each other.  I remember the time when I first realized that I needed to walk away from an argument, so that things didn’t get ugly.  The person followed me into the next room before I had a chance to get it together.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work out too well because I was extremely angry and all sorts of words spewed out of my mouth.  What I said was true; however, I would have been able to effectively communicate my true feelings a lot better in a much calmer fashion had I been given the opportunity to cool off.

There was a time in my life that I didn’t think I had a voice, so there was very little communication from me — part of it was due to the fact that I was extremely shy.  Now, I talk ALL OF THE TIME.  One of my friends calls me “Chatty Kathy”.  One of my other friends tells me to get to the point when she is limited for time.  Other people probably say to themselves, “Here she comes.  Let’s head in the opposite direction”.  My kids tell me that I “repeat myself.”  I had one of my friends laughing when I told them about an incident where a man used to say, “You can’t tell it all”.  They told me when I get wound up from this point on, that’s the phrase they were going to use.  LOL!  Sometimes, we can communicate too much and people tune us out because all they hear is blah, blah blah.  You have to pay attention to the signs and learn when to end the conversation without driving the other party insane.  Okay, I’m still learning this technique.  LOL!

Whether you have a little or a lot to say, please use your voice — communicate.  Don’t walk around with your thoughts and feelings bottled up inside of you.  That’s one of the worse things you can do.  You deserve to be heard.  Again, don’t overdo it.  It is okay to save some for the next time.

Lastly, communication is a two way street.  If you communicate your feelings, allow the other person to communicate theirs as well.  Don’t just be a talker, but also a listener.  Remember, that it’s not just about you and what you think or feel, but about the other person too.   I can’t tell you how crucial that is in any type of relationship.  Oh, and, one other thing — communication is not a shouting match.  If everyone is screaming at the top of their lungs, no one is being heard.

You have a voice

Don’t let it get lost

“Learn” to express yourself

You’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off

your shoulders

Don’t wait until you’re going to blow

Because that is not the right time

 

No matter what, always remember #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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Dying A Slow Death…Part I

…your heart.

I’m recently divorced after being married for 20 something years.  Oftentimes, people will say, “I’m sorry,” when they hear about it.  My response is always, “Don’t be.  It’s okay.  Things happen”.  In this post, I’m not going into the particulars of why my ex and I divorced; however, what I can say is that there was a lot of hurt and pain, words that were said, and things that were done.  It took many years to come to the conclusion that the relationship wasn’t working for either one of us.  However, during the course of this time, my  heart was dying a slow death.  Little by little, any feelings that I thought I had were disappearing (this will be a topic for a later post).

In relationships, as the saying goes, “It takes two to tango”.  I might not have done a lot in my marriage, but I sure reacted quite a bit — that is, until I matured and realized that every little thing didn’t need to be addressed.  

Marriage is work.  Let me say that again, “Marriage is work” if you want it to be successful, and no it is not the responsibility of one person to carry the relationship.   Relationships can be quite turbulent.  Sometimes, it’s due to the simple fact of marrying the wrong person.  It’s like trying to fit a square into a circle — it just doesn’t work.  That was the case in my situation.  I had three different people come to me and say,  “Don’t do it.”  Did I listen?  Of course not!  I did it my way.   They saw what I refused to see as I walked around with blinders on.  In life, we should always be cognizant of the fact that there are consequences for our actions — good or bad.  I could definitely write a book about that.   Having said that, however, I did learn a lot about myself and life, in general, during the course of my marriage.  In essence, I grew up.  The scared, insecure woman who had been living inside me for most of my life realized her self worth, and decided that she had made a mistake.

When I was married, I spent years being on a “mental” roller coaster ride — one minute I was leaving and the next I was praying that things would work out.  One day, I came to the conclusion that the issues were “unfixable,” and there was never going to be any type of reconciliation.

The day that I knew it was over for sure, I have to admit I was pretty terrified because I hadn’t been on my own in years.  What was I going to do?  How was I going to make it?  Where was I going to live?  Etc., etc.  Once my anxiety calmed down, I was able to think and make plans for what the next step needed to be.  I didn’t want to sneak out like a “thief in the night,” so I gave my ex five weeks notice because I wanted him to be prepared mentally and financially.  Some people believe in just leaving without letting the other party know and, perhaps, in those cases it might be best, particularly, if it’s a safety issue (you have to know your partner).  Did things get crazy during that period of time?  You betcha they did.  However, I’m grateful that on moving day, everything went well (with the exception of my vehicle not starting and they had my name in the system at U-Haul but no truck assigned to me).

When people talk about and agree to marry, most do so with the expectation that they and their partner will grow old together.  For me, every time I see and older couple together, it touches my heart.  I watch them as they care for one another.  They may be out to dinner and, perhaps, one is cutting food for the other because they can no longer do that for themselves or maybe they are holding hands or maybe one is pushing the other in a wheelchair, etc.  No relationship is perfect nor is it exempt from disagreements; however, couples who last have found a way to weather the storm —  they’ve found a way to make it work.  During difficult times, they learned how to put their pride aside and agree to disagree.   The flip side of the coin is that there are those relationships that end because both parties are too stubborn to say, “I’m sorry.  What can WE do to make it work?”

There is that group of people who don’t reach out to their partner because they don’t want to feel like they are kissing their backside or be viewed as crawling back to them.  That is absolutely ludicrous!  If you love a person, why shouldn’t you express it to them?  Why can’t you wear your feelings on your sleeves?  Why can’t you be vulnerable?  In my opinion, it’s okay to show your raw emotions.  When did we stop fighting for the one we love or is it just so much easier to walk away?  Perhaps, you’ve done all of this and the two of you still ended up going your separate ways, but at least you let them know they mattered — that the two of you mattered.  You attempted to do something as opposed to being completely miserable without them and doing nothing whatsoever to repair your failing relationship.  By allowing pride to get in the way or pointing fingers at the other party or simply walking away, and not being mature enough to talk about the issues, no one wins in your relationship.  Do you want the love of your life to slip through your fingers without first trying to work things out?  Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”  I totally agree.  Personally, I believe that if you are able to catch your relationship before your heart completely dies, it can be salvaged, if that’s what you two decide.

Gurl go get your guy.  Guy go get your gurl.  It really is okay to reach out and say, “Can we talk?”  No, you’re not a weakling by doing this.  In fact, it takes a lot of courage to start a dialogue about how you feel and what you want out of your relationship.  It can be scary because, quite honestly, you don’t know if your partner is going to be receptive to what you have to say.  Don’t try and read their minds or assume they are going to respond in an unfavorable way.  Remember, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

Always remember:

#GurlYouGotItGoinOn

#GuyzYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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P.S.:  Please stay tuned because there will be a Part II to this topic.

Here We Go Again…

Autumn Leaves

Sadly, summer is nearly over.  As with every year, I always come up with a list of things that I’m going to do, but never get to accomplish much of them for one reason or another.

Image result for images of fall leavesAs fall approaches, it’s almost time to put away my sandals (which I never look forward to), and don a light weight jacket.  I love autumn because of the leaves falling off the trees and turning into an array of bright colors; however, some people don’t see it that way.

There are those who view the change in season as a death sentence.  They are plaqued by the sun going down earlier because they feel as though they are losing their source of energy.  The sun How to Make Dead Leaves Decompose Fasterand the longer nights really do wonders for them.  However, as we get closer to fall, they find themselves beginning to drag around and/or shutting down beforehand as they brace themselves for the change in season, which leaves them not in the best of moods.  Their happiness is gone, temporarily, until they are able to adjust.  Some people have to take medication during this time to get them through because it’s just too difficult to manage without it.     There are some of us who will never understand what this feels like for those people who have to struggle with this every year.  I wished that I could embrace each and every person to assure them that it’s going to be okay.

If this is you, please don’t ever be ashamed or embarrassed.  Every single person on the face of the earth has something they are dealing with in life (some more than others), and it’s real.  We shouldn’t just tell people to get over it because we don’t know how they are feeling nor should we tell them how fast they should recover.

Love <3 Fall Leaves <3

You should never deal with life’s issues alone because that can lead to other things triggering off in your mind and body.  Find a good network of family and/or friends who will love on you when you’re going through.  These are the people who won’t judge you, but rather have your back.  You may feel as though they can’t identify with you, and are afraid you’ll run them away or they’ll look at you through different eyes once they learn about your secret; however, I beg to differ.  They will be there to support you through your difficult time, and actually want to be there for you whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, a prayer or whatever it is you need.  I wished when I was going through my phase of depression that I had shared it with others, so they could have supported me through that period of my life; however, I was just too embarrassed and ashamed to talk about it. The flip side of the coin is that if you shut people out of your life and just disappear, they have no idea what’s going on and will most likely think they did something to offend you.  If you don’t want to share what’s going on, maybe you could say something like, “I just need some alone time right now,” instead of leaving them to assume that you no longer want their business.  Always keep in mind, that people aren’t mind readers, and are human.

Even though my blog is written primarily for women, men face these issues as well, and should be loved on too; therefore, they shouldn’t be left out.

One of my younger cousins posted this on his FaceBook page and I thought it was apropos:

Men get depression.

Men get anxiety.

Men get suicidal thoughts.

Men have mental health illness.

Maybe instead of saying “man up”,

Say, “It’s okay to talk about it.”

 

Embrace your fears.  

I promise you will get through this.

You’re not alone.

 

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn (and Guyz)

Love ya,

Grace

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Sister-to-Sister…

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Hey, gurl, I hope you’re having a great day…

Several days ago, while I was walking to my car, the thought for today’s blog popped into my head.  Why, you might ask?  I feel that sometimes we don’t get the support we should from our “sisters” or “sista friends” for a variety of reasons.

As we know, women have the propensity to be downright catty (this is something that some learned from childhood and weren’t ever able to let it go).  I’ve been around women who weren’t always kind, and I couldn’t figure out why, particularly as I hadn’t done anything (as far as I was aware).  I used to work with a woman who, on a daily basis, would look me up down; she didn’t even try to be discrete about it.  Was I uncomfortable?  You betcha, but I tried not to let it show.  Perhaps, I could have broached the subject with her, but I chose to ignore her negative behavior.  I’ve passed by women who have mugged me for no particular reason, and just recently, I looked up only to discover someone giving me the “stank” eye or more commonly known as the “evil” eye.  I said to myself, “Wow, really?  I thought we were cool.”

Why is it that some women are threatened or jealous of other women?  I’m sure that’s an age old question that, unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to.

Having said this, I’ve met some really wonderful women who have their stuff together. They know who they are and aren’t intimated by any other women no matter what their status in life is.  They understand that there is “enough room at the table for everyone.”  Period!

We, as women, should be able to compliment other women on their beauty (inner and outer), their sense of style, makeup, cooking, thrifty ways, etc., without feeling like that takes away from who we are.  I often joke that Halle Berry doesn’t have anything on me. I’m not crazy.  Trust me, I know that if she and I were beside each other, she would be the one to stand out in the crowd and 99.9% of the attention would be on her (that’s perfectly fine) because she’s a very beautiful woman.  However, what I mean is that I’m confident in who I am.  I don’t need nor I desire to look like or be anyone else besides myself although there was a time in my life that I wanted to be anyone except me.

Don’t make your sister feel unwelcome because you’re insecure.  It’s time to take a long hard look at yourself, and figure out who you are.  Those things that you’d like to change, do so.  You don’t need to ask anyone’s permission to be yourself.  You are unique.  Maybe you haven’t figured it out yet, but you’re wonderful.  Maybe you’re envious of your peers because you’ve been comparing yourself to them and feel as though you don’t measure up.  I want you to stop thinking that right now!  No two people are alike; we may have similarities but we’re our own individuals.  Once you’ve arrived at this point, you’ll be able to love and even embrace your many sisters who are just waiting to welcome you with open arms.

To the Sisterhood…

This is my sister circle:  Top, biological sister; right, best friend for 46 years; bottom, dearest friend for nearly 13 years.  What I love about each of these women is that they add something totally different to my life, and it’s always, always wrapped in love — no matter what!

When you walk, lift your head like the QUEEN you are,
Gurl, don’t you know that you’re a shining star.
We have spent too many years trying to figure out this thing called “life,”
We don’t have time for jealousy, envy, and strife.
When they look you up and down,
Instead of turning your smile into a frown,
Put your head in the air,
As you leave them to wonder and stare.
Each day I’m working on who I aspire to be,
So, gurl you might as well stop wasting your energy hating on me.
Learn to love yourself and the skin you’re in,
Then, perhaps, you’d see that we could all win.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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Family — Not Necessarily the One You’re Born Into…

family-quote

We all have families — some family members we love to death and there are others that you might like to “kick” out as one of my uncles “jokingly” told me (though he was serious; no I’m not going to say which uncle or which family member).  LOL!

FAMILY: The True Meaning of FamilyFamily consists of the people who support and love you, and the people you can confide in and trust.

That about sums it all up.  Sometimes, your friends are closer to you than your actual family members — the family you were born or adopted into.

My, then, 3-year-old granddaughter figured this out on her own.  Last year, one of my friends was “playfully picking on her,” which got her attention.  Normally, she would retreat and not have anything further to do with the individual who was “bothering her,” but not this particular person.  In fact, quite to the contrary, she started asking all sorts of questions about them much to my amazement, which was definitely out of her character.  Before long, she started calling them her family (mind you, she had only spent a little time with them at this point).  To test her, one day I asked, “Why are they your family?”  Her 3-year-old response was, “Because they are my friend, they are my family.”  One of my daughters asked her if one of her friends was her family.  Her response was, “No, they are my friend”.  I have to admit that I was absolutely blown away.  How could someone so young put something so major into perspective?  How could she understand what some people who are older than she is don’t?  Until this very day, my friend is her family, and they have a very special bond.

Sometimes, we look at people and their families and “envy” them because their family is large and they are what we call “tight nit.”  They talk and socialize regularly, and are there for each other.  You long for that type of relationship with your family but, for whatever reason, it’s never forthcoming.

My family is pretty small on both my paternal and maternal side.  That’s one of the reasons I’m glad that my maternal uncle has a cookout every summer wherein he invites family and friends.  It’s good to see family during happy times rather just when someone passes.  During that time, everyone promises to get together, but it never happens.  My uncle usually makes this a two day event, which is really cool because the second day it’s just my immediate family.  The paternal side of my family is even smaller, and I very seldom spend time with them, unfortunately.  It’s funny how times change because when I was growing up, I spent more time with my paternal family.

When I was growing up, we used to have big family dinners at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I remember when I “graduated” from the “kids” table to the “big people table”.  You couldn’t tell me that I hadn’t arrived.  These are memories that I will cherish for life.

I have longtime friends whom I consider family because they have been there for nearly every facet of my life — the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I also have new friends that I call family as well because as my granddaughter would say, “Because they are my friend, they are my family“.  They welcomed me and all of my craziness with open arms, no questions asked, and it feels like they’ve been a part of my life since forever.

No matter if you’re born into a family or “choose” your family, enjoy your time with them because seemingly go by in a fleeting moment.  Let them know how much they mean to you, and don’t forget to remind them of this often.

You, younger folk, should try and get to know the elders in your family.  Not only do they have a ton of wisdom and knowledge, but you can learn so much from them.  They possess a wealth of information they willingly want to share, which not only is interesting and fascinating, but can also give you a glimpse into your history.  I always enjoy hearing about the “good old days”.

My granddaughter and her great grandfather sharing moments of fun…

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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