4/20

I’m pretty sure you’re all aware of the term 420 which is known to be the “National Weed Day.”

This day has been celebrated ever since I was in school and beyond.  The hype around this day would have the entire school buzzing–no pun intended–although I was not a part of that crowd.  What can I say, I was a good girl! LOL

The day, April 20th came to be national weed consumption day from a group of teenagers who would gather to smoke every day around the time 4:20pm and instead of broadcasting what they were doing, they would just use the code 420.

So, in honor of this day, I guess……I want to refer you all back to a blog I wrote earlier this year, “Smoking on Hay.”

Will you be participating in the festivities this day?

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2019 Music Festivals

Music Festivals take place all around the Country typically during the Spring and Summer months.  Some really are extreme while others are quite laid back.  Typically, these festivals take place over a weekend; which allows you to not only enjoy the musical acts and daytime activities but also a chance to explore the city and take part in some cultural activities as well.

If you’ve been thinking about a weekend getaway, here’s the perfect time to do it,  especially if you enjoy music.  My suggestion would be to do a little research.  Go to the festival that’s affordable for you and also the one where there are more musical acts that you would enjoy.  Don’t delay, some of these festivals are around the corner (Links below)!

Coachella– This festival takes place in California over two different weekends in April.  April 12-14 and April 19-21.  There are tons of options available to you so that you can really make the festival your own.  There’s also a wide range of musical guest for this festival.

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Something in the Water– If you’re looking for a festival near the beach, this festival is the one for you.  This event will take place in Virginia Beach, VA, April 26-28.  The oceanfront and convention center will serve as venues.  It is said that there will be a pop-up church service and karaoke featuring trap music.

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Roots Picnic– This one day event takes center stage in Philly on June 1st.  Early bird tickets start at $69.50 which is very inexpensive compared to other festivals.  However, keep in mind that this is a one day event while others may be for an entire weekend.

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Essence– New Orleans is always the place to be and this is where this festival takes place.  I personally attended this festival in 2014 during their 20th Anniversary.  The icon Prince was the headliner.  We attended concerts 3 nights in a row.  We also enjoyed the free day parties, saw a ton of celebrities, and did some sightseeing on our own. This festival is from July 4-7.

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These are just a few of the festivals that I’m aware of and the ones that are most trusted.  If it looks too good to be true, like that FYRE festival.  Run!  Did you see those documentaries?  OMG!

Are you in need of some travel tips? Check out my latest travel blog HERE!

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Protecting our Daughters!

I remember growing up and often feeling like my sister and I really couldn’t do as much as our friends or cousins did.  There were times when we would beg and plead to stay over someone’s house and the answer was always, NO!  Eventually we got use to the word NO and stop asking to stay places or to even go certain places.  My mother always stated that our friends could come visit us and that was it.  I really didn’t understand why at the time but that was our life.

Just so we are clear, I come from a two parent home, but whatever momma said is what the final rule was.  If we ever tried to out talk my mother all she had to do was say my daddy’s name and my dad would give us a look, as if to say, you heard what your momma said! LOL

Now that I’m older, I understand my mother’s logic quite well and I’m actually very thankful that such guidelines were in place.  I now know that my mother was protecting me from being exposed to potential situations I had no business being in at such a young age.  I also realize that my parents only wanted what was best for my sister and me.

What it boils down to is, a person doesn’t know what goes on at another person’s house behind closed doors.  Not saying that everyone is doing bad things but you just don’t know.  Another parent might have rules that are totally different from what are currently in place at your house.  It’s better to not have a child placed in an environment that could be totally foreign to them.

All of this came to mind after I was watching the “Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries that recently aired on Lifetime.  In case you didn’t watch the series, this man has preyed on younger girls for most of his music career causing mental, physical, and sexual abuse to young girls and women as they told their personal stories.  The docuseries highlighted his actions from a young child all the way up to today–where it is said that he had a sex cult.  I watched the show with my daughter as it was very hard to do so, but being that I too, have a 14 year old child, I felt it was necessary and important.

I remember listening to him in heavy rotation as a teenager, not really knowing or putting two and two together.  Now when I think about some of the songs that he made they seem to all be centered on him targeting young naïve children.  Songs like Bump & Grind, and the lyrics stating “His mind is telling him no…but his body is telling him yes!”  Imagine him, as a 28 year old man singing this to a 14  year old girl.

What’s even more disgusting are the parents who act like they couldn’t do anything to protect their children.  I remember listening to the show and this one couple stating that their child who was 14 at the time, threatened them if they didn’t let her go away with R. Kelly.

Really!

Are you kidding me?

Who’s the parent and who’s the adult in this situation?

I wish my daughter would come to me and tell me she’s running off with some guy and if I don’t let her she’s going to threaten me.  Honey, you better send all your threats then because my number one mission and goal is to always protect my child whether she likes it or not.  I hate to see parents not protecting their children and just letting them do whatever they want.  It’s time for us to take back the parent role in our households.  I tell my daughter all the time, you will thank me when you get older and that’s that.

I also believe that it is our responsibility to not only protect our daughters but to also have the best interest of other children that may cross our paths at heart.  During this R. Kelly docuseries so many people were helping and assisting him with getting way with being a predator and no one ever stood up for these young girls.  No one came to their rescue.  No one had enough balls to tell R. Kelly NO!  They were all smitten by his fame and celebrity lifestyle that they allowed a grown man to take advantage of innocent girls.

So the current question floating around social media is can you separate the artist from art?  I believe in this instance, there is no way to separate the two.  Time after time he wrote and sung songs that were centered on having sex with young girls and WE as a culture have ignored every single solitary sign that has come across our TV’s and radio. It’s time that we do better.  We can start by not listening to his music!

I want to publicly ask my generation to stop listening to R. Kelly’s music as protecting our daughters should be more important than listening to his music.  How about we not give him wings so that he can fly any more.  How about we step in the name of love and protect our daughters.   Lets also teach our daughters the importance of self worth and self love.  That no man should ever be able to take their power or voice away from them.

LETS PROTECT OUR DAUGHTERS.  YOUNG BLACK GIRLS ARE IMPORTANT TOO!

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Begins with S…

That would be SNOW!

This weekend in Southwest Virginia, snow began to fall early Sunday morning and it snowed the entire day with strong bands of snow here and there.  It snowed so much that in just one day, we accumulated 14 inches of snow.  The most snow that has ever fallen in one single day for our area during the month of December.

Living in Virginia you are bound to experience all seasons and all types of weather.  Our Summers are really hot and humid and our winters can be brutally cold at times.  Growing up, I remember missing weeks of school at a time due to snow blizzards that hammered our town.

Due to global warming snow storms have been “hit and miss” over the past few years.  If you enjoy the snow and just having a reason to be stuck in the house, this “hit and miss” action has become frustrating.  I’ve seen snow up to my waist and then I’ve also seen meteorologist forecast snow storms and there’s only a dusting on the road.

Oh but this year, the snow came early and it came hard; thankfully we had already made our grocery store run so we didn’t have to worry about going out in the snow.  It’s always better to watch the snow from the window than to have to actually be out in it.  Every few hours my daughter would go outside with her ruler to do her measurements and indeed the snow was rising by the hour.

Of course, the only bad part about the snow is when you are forced to go out in it.  If you’re unfamiliar with Virginia or Southwest Virginia for that matter, we are surrounded by mountains (check out MY HIKE this past Summer to get a view of the mountains where I live).  The Valley consist of hills and turns that no one should have to travel during inclement weather.  However, places of employment still expect you to be at work even when there’s 14 inches of snow on the ground. Talk about frustration.

Anyway, how is the weather in your neck of the woods?  Be sure to share in the comments below.  And if you’re approaching Winter (yup, we had a fall snow storm) like we are…be sure to keep warm and check on the elderly.

XOXO,

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At Last….My love has come along!

Hey loves!

Many of you may or may not know, that I am getting married ❤

The official wedding day is Sunday, September 2, 2018.  I’m excited and nervous for my contemporary, non-traditional, glammed wedding!!  I just hope everything goes smoothly lol.  After that we are heading to a tropical honeymoon in Cuba and Mexico!  We are actually cruising; again one of my favorite things to do.  Before we sail out, we will spend two nights in Tampa, Florida!  I cannot wait!

Because I’m going to be super busy these next few weeks until wedding day and enjoying my new husband thereafter, I’m taking a very small hiatus.

In the meantime, I have over 100 or so blogs out there to keep you all busy!  Please leave your comments because I’ll respond to each one of them once I return.  I’ll also be filling you in with a full blog of all the deets from my wedding and honeymoon.

Did I say I was getting nervous yet? LOL  It almost doesn’t seem real.

I just have one special request!  Please pray that it doesn’t rain!  We’re getting married downtown, on the rooftop (The featured image of this post is the actual location of my wedding), and while we could transition into the closed-in room the vision is for it to be outside!  Your love and thoughts are appreciated!

From Miss to Mrs! –Talk to you soon.

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Why Home Chef* wasn’t for me?

*ADDENDUM: Earlier today I posted this blog with incorrect information. The company I used was Home Chef and NOT HelloFresh. So, as you read any references towards HelloFresh should be redirected to Home Chef* -Toya

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Around this time last year, I had been bombarded with the idea that meal kit services could make my life easier.  Whether it was from online ads, TV commercials, or just friends falling in love with these types of services, the idea was constantly being thrown my way.

To be able to go online, pick out the food that I wanted for the week, and wait several days for it all to be delivered to my front door almost felt too good to be true.

Of course, I eventually had to give it a try.  Besides, I hate wondering “What’s for Dinner?”  However, by this time, there were so many meal kit services out on the market that advertised on being healthy and quick, I really didn’t know which way to turn.  Eventually, I chose to go with Home Chef.  One, because I was given a referral code from a friend and two, because I was given a referral code from a friend!img_1337

I waited anxiously for about a week until my box arrived promptly at my front door.  I loved that part of the service.  Inside the box were two meals that I had previously handpicked via the website with everything that I needed.  So far, so good!

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I loved the recipe sheets.  Home Chef even included a binder to keep all of your recipes together.  I thought that was a great idea and I was really excited about that.

Everything was packaged nicely and kept cool with the provided ice packs in the box.  Next it was time to prepare the meals.

Here is where the tables began to turn:

  1. The number one marketing tactic around all of the meal kit services available today is about saving time.  So when I saw that I literally had to hand chop all of the vegetables, immediately, I knew no time was going to be saved on this particular day.  One of the meals I had selected consisted of pico de gallo…I had to literally chop the onion, tomato, the lime, the peppers and mix it all together.  Sweetheart, I can buy this already made and chopped for me over in the produce section at my nearest Kroger.  That saves me time.
  2. The other reason why Home Chef wasn’t for me is because it wasn’t enough food for my family.  Thankfully, I was just feeding two of us that night.  My fiancé and myself.  But on a regular night, kids are in the mix.  So if, this meal that should have served at least 3 was barely enough for two, I couldn’t see how this would be beneficial for my family.
  3. With these meal kit services, it’s one of those deals where you’ll automatically be charged weekly for however many meals you’ve signed up for.  You can go in each week to either cancel your meals with no additional charge or to swap the default meals of the week for a different choice.  I wasn’t oppose to any of this but I also wasn’t fond of it.  It’s just another thing I have to remember to do that’s already attached to my debit or credit card.

Because of these three reasons, I decided not to order again from Home Chef, or from any other meal kit service company.  Sure, I could have increased my servings per meal but I didn’t think it was worth it.  It saddens me that I wasn’t in loved with it because I truly loved the idea of being able to plan my meals out a head of time AND home deliveries to my front door would have been the icing on the cake.  But, my high expectations were not met.  I cancelled or suspended my services all together.  I didn’t have time to be going in each week to cancel my order, besides I knew I would never order again. So back to the everyday question of, “What’s for dinner?” Ugh!!!!

Perhaps you have a different perspective than I do?  If you’ve ever ordered from a meal service company before, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

**I’m dedicated to giving you my truth, the real truth at all times. Thanks for joining in. Love what you’re reading? Subscribe and follow me so that you never miss a beat!

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*This post may contain affiliated links but all opinions are of my own!