A few weeks ago I went to TJMAXX after being quarantine in my city, Memphis. We moved into Phase 1. I waited before I went and I chose to go early in the morning on an off day. I had my budget in case I found something and I sure did! Everything with a red sticker came from TJMAXX. The bracelet is handmade and I purchased it at an antique mall that sells other items made by vendors.
And I finally found a yellow dress to match these yellow shoes which I have had for years. I’d pair them with other things but really wanted a yellow dress. I found this at a consignment store for 50% off!. It was $8.
Oh and while at the HUGE antique store, which he had to do one side one day, and come back to finish the other, I found a Southern Living cookbook with some amazing collections of a year’s worth of their best recipes. And I found an Lamborghini! Who knew I’d come home with a new car lol! I’ve always wanted to collect model cars. The doors open, the hood, and the trunk. Pretty cool.
A few weekends ago, I did something I’ve always wanted to do. I held my first public gathering for women. A seminar? Luncheon? Empowerment? Yes, all of that, BUT so much more. My goal was for it to be non-religious, more spiritual and diverse experience. What I mean by that is you’re free to be yourself, say what you REALLY say to your girlfriends when the cameras are off and Sunday is over. The speakers were allowed to TRULY be themselves. The women were free to come as Buddhists, Christians, nonbelievers, etc. It was all inclusive.
It was impressed upon me by Spirit to have the purpose to be something of an “epiphany” of the HEART, MIND, SOUL, BODY, & SPIRIT. Each speaker addressed that area with complete honesty and authenticity. One spoke on SEX and HIV. Safe sex and the high rate of HIV we have in the city of Memphis. This was the Body Epiphany.
Next was the Soul Epiphany. This speaker spoke on the “SOUL of a WOMAN” and the Power that is embodied in that soul. It is the fuel of life! The power of the soul of the woman changes the atmosphere it is in and out changes lives.
The Heart Epiphany was about self love and the hard work it takes to TRULY love yourself. It’s important to know the difference between self care and self love. You can go to a spa for a week and come home to the same chaotic relationships, family-ships, and friendships.
The Spirit Epiphany…wow! Merging the traditional religion of Christianity with WHO you really are and WHAT you really believe is something that takes courage and authenticity. And this speaker has them both. She gave us a glimpse into her journey.
What can you do without your mind? The Mind Epiphany was about the importance of mental health, well being, redefining the narrative, and what to do if you discover…YOU ARE THE PROBLEM?
ALSO on deck was a very important agency in my city, Memphis, known as THE CORNER. Free testing for STDS and HIV, information, and the help for anyone who finds themselves in this situation. This organization is vital in our community and one of their representatives, Queen was a jewel of knowledge!
Queen on her knowledge of facts on facts! Stats on stats!
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to step out into my own. I may not have gotten the chance to do everything I wanted to do for my birthday month, but I got to do the most important thing and this was it!!!
The vendors were spectacular! I’m sure they made their vendor fees back and enjoyed the event. I can’t wait to improve this for next year. Let’s GROW!
During the Quarantine, we remain diligent and prayerful, but we also remain optimistic and in good spirits. It’s important to my mental health, that affects my physical health, (stress and anxiety, depression affects your physical health!) that I remain finding a balance between things to do and rest.
Well, one time I tried to do a smokey eye and I ended up looking like a raccoon! I never tried it again. Well, I decided to try a brown smokey eye. I am not an MUA or professional when it comes to make up. I grew up where it really wasn’t that complicated. Foundation, which I rarely use, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick. So I followed two tutorials last night. One for a basic face and the other for the smokey. Of course, I watched a few and picked two that I really liked.
I would say it came out pretty good. I posted it and I hope my FBFs weren’t lying to me lol! Most said I did a good job. It was fun and funny. I have never put mascara on my lower lashes or eye shadow underneath the waterline (eyeliner). Overall, I would do this again and I am now more open to trying other looks I like. Below are the two tutorials I used.
Last I attend this same show and had such a wild and crazy good night, I wanted to do it again this year. This year was the 10th Annual Forever Loving Marley (Bob Marley Tribute Show). It did not disappoint!
The show is hosted by the band Chinese Connection Dub Embassy (CCDE) and the venue was Railgarten here in Memphis, TN. The artists of the night included Yubu, Kween Jasir, Black Cream, and CCDE. This is not just a tribute, it’s an experience! It’s an experience right here in the city of Memphis. A city that births not only the blues, rap, hip hop, but births music…period. We birth artists of all genres. We’ve got roots, baby.
Here are my photos from the night. I shared this night my very good sister friend, who’s birthday was celebrated, and one of BFF’s & her hubby that surprised me by showing up. They were out on a date night and in the area. That was cool.
I have three friends that have birthdays in the month of January and they are all back to back. I had to prepare myself for three events mentally, physically, and FASHIONABLY!
Plus, there was a concert I had tickets to that Sunday. Just know that everything I wore was an item I purchased at a reasonable price, thrifted, or on clearance! I already had these items in my closet.
I needed all of this week to recover! And today is the first day I woke up with minimum pain. I had a flare up this week. Three days of restlessness due to pain-somnia (insomnia) due to pain, anxiety, and yesterday depression. Whew! Yet…joy came this morning.
It’s a yearly tradition now for some family and friends of ours to visit Vegas for a little getaway. I haven’t given it up yet because of Rheumatoid and Fibromyalgia, but I have learned to adjust and prepare. We visit the sites, shop, walk the strip, party some, and dine. We relax and recoup. Some from a heavy night of partying and me, from the toll of doing more than the usual activities and from wearing heels!
The things I did differently were:
I didn’t forget my hot/cold pack
I brought flats, fold-able flats that fit into my purse for the nightlife. I wore them to walk to and from the club and event. When I was at the event I took of my heels and put on my flats. Same thing to see an entertainer at the club. I was not as nearly as swollen or in pain as I was last year!
I lowered a pair of my heals, but I didn’t compromise cuteness. The red heels in the first photo are from Target.
I used gel inserts for heels.
I didn’t try to cram 100 events into our day and I left evenings open for rest or doing whatever one wanted to do.
This really helped as far as my health and well being was concerned. I was not stressed or in so much pain I couldn’t enjoy my getaway. I didn’t feel like I was holding my family and friends back from doing what they wanted to do (Although, they constantly checked on me and I didn’t mind that at all). They never complain about me and show compassion and understanding if anything. I try to be calm so they will be calm and not worry. I can take care of myself most of the time. 🙂
Jeans, my 49er gear, and black Nikes with orthopedic approved inserts. Listen, I don’t care what age you are, taking care of your feet will benefit you in the long run and it will prevent or help improve your daily activities. I never wore heels everyday when I had the opportunity to do so. I only wore them occasionally during the week and mostly on the weekends. I don’t need heels to grocery shop or to shop at the mall. It’s foolishness at it’s best. And I am a shoe addict. However, there is no honor in ruining your feet for fashion and suffering unnecessarily thinking it’s the only way to look good everyday.
The red heels with the chunky heel are from Target and are trendy right now.
Both dresses were ordered from Amazon. Yes, Amazon and were about $25 each. I took a HUGE gamble here. I read the reviews to order a size up, which I did and I am glad I did! Also, there were photos and stories of clothing not being well constructed, arriving ripped, and even with deodorant stains!!!! (faints) However, I went with the ones with the best reviews and photos to see what it may look like on. I am glad that plus size women posted and gave their sizes because it gave me more accuracy than someone that is not near my size. I also looked at when the reviews were written.
The dresses arrived and I tried them on. They fit. I had to pin the black one and I had to snip some thread hanging on the olive green one. Other than that, nothing fell apart and I didn’t have any wardrobe malfunctions. I accessorized with what I had. I’m always looking ways to save money! Vegas can get expensive when it comes to food and drinks.
Speaking of food, we made it to Diablo’s this year. We had been trying to go there each time, but ended up somewhere else. The food was delicious. The service was great. I also at at Bobby Flay’s Mesa inside of Caesar’s Palace. The chicken and black bean quesadilla was better than I expected and I expected it to be good. IT WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!! The service was great, also. I have no complaints about my dining experiences in Vegas.
Vegas is loads of fun and we visited the Shark Reef aquarium in Mandalay Bay. It has more than sharks! I have video of the sharks but was unable to load them to this platform. The architecture, the other ocean and wildlife were worth the visit. It’s great for adults and children.
I enjoyed Vegas as always and I hope I can continue the tradition started by my brother and I.
Oh yes! It was a steal! 72% off the original price. The dress is by Thalia’s. I got it from Macy’s on the clearance rack (where I mostly live). the bag is by Jessica Simpson and it’s the perfect everyday black bag for me! It’s from TJ Maxx and the shoes are also from there, by Calvin Klein. Why spend a lot of money if you don’t have to if you can still walk away with quality clothing? I love a sale and a clearance rack!
A shoe haul? An impromptu Charlotte Russe closing? Listen, I didn’t set out to by so many shoes this month, but I did have a budget of what I was going to spend for my birthday. It just so happens the shoe gods, clearance gods, and shoe fairy were in alignment with my pocket! And a few of these I got before my birthday at a reasonable price. Let us begin!
Dillards had an amazing, AH MAY ZING, CLEARANCE and I was in the right place and the right time. I had no idea what was going on when I went. As you can see the original prices on the shoes above are $98 and $110. The pair of boots below were a whopping $169.99 I paid the price marked!
These came from Target. The silver pair were marked as is but nothing was wrong with them! And the red shoes were comfortable and I needed a new pair of red shoes because my old pair have seen better days 😦 They are beyond repair. So the flats were 19.99 and the heels were 24.99. I got these in February. If you are in Target and you see a size 9 in ANYTHING cute you may as well get it because size nines go fast. I barely found the red heels when I cam back. In fact, I had to go to another store.
Once again, these were a sacrifice. I purchased some black and nude heels at JC Penny (clearance!) a while back and I have been unable to wear them. They are cute. I may have blogged them, but I cannot wear them. Yes, I tried them on and thought over time they would become comfortable. NOT. And that is okay because someone will benefit from them. I made the mistake of trying on a pair of Calvin Klein heels and just wow! Immediate comfort and style. Just a basic pair of black heels. I did find them $10 cheaper at TJ Maxx than at Nordstrom’s The Rack.
And last, but not least I took my daughter back to the mall to exchange some items. We were walking and she said, “Whoa! What’s going on at Charlotte Russe?” Well, they are closing stores. Everything in there was 50-70% off and these shoes were 70% off. I also picked up some jewelry that was 70% off.
Did I go over my budget? I did! I also found clothing and I will present that haul next week. Hey, no one is perfect and I now I have to scale back and save up to restore the over the limit amount. I can’t say I am sorry about it because well, a splurge or two happens and it was my birthday…month.
I’ve been thinking bigger. I am just as great as Oprah, Tyler, James Patterson, Stephen King, Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Jay Renee etc. I see their methods. They have laid out their blueprints. And you know what, it’s all about determination, belief in your self, shutting out the critics, focus, never giving up (faith), drive, being prepared for the opportunities, going against the grain, walking away when it wasn’t right for them, taking risks and learning from it all. I love to hear Stephen King on interviews about his writing and career. He gives inspiring advice and so does James Patterson. Yes, I know sometimes as an AA it’s harder for us. Some people can get a deal on mediocre content based on their skin color and who they know (But I know somebody, too! ). But that doesn’t stop my flow or kill my vibe. It doesn’t put my fire out. Some want to help, some want to hinder, all I need is discernment and to trust my gut. This year, I am going to give it all I got and let my Creator and Angels do the rest. I’m going to push the envelope pertaining to my beliefs. #44Presidential