15 Travel Tips For 2019

It’s 2019 and it’s time to start planning our vacations for the year.  I am a big advocate for vacations or small weekend trips.  I believe it’s necessary to step away from your every day life a few times a year to explore, relax, and to enjoy life.  I often hear about people not having time for vacation or not having enough money for a trip and it saddens me.  It only means that they did not properly plan and in my book, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!  Quite frankly, I can’t imagine life with out a trip. Continue reading

#LoveIsAJourney

We met through mutual friends many years ago and dated briefly during the Summer while I was home from College.  On Father’s Day of that year, I total lost my car and Larmar transported me back and forth to work whenever we weren’t on a date.  In the Fall, I returned back to school, 2.5 hours away from home, and we decided to go our separate ways.  Larmar says, I broke up with him, I, however, do not remember it that way.  For years, we didn’t talk to each other and only saw each other in passing once I moved back home; still never having a conversation with one another.  Just a quick wave and that was it.  In 2014, Larmar asked to be my friend on Facebook, like most women, I contemplated before accepting.  You know, been there–done that!  After a few months, he would start small conversations.  His consistency, patience, and all around “good dude” persona, along with the ability to make me laugh non stop drew me in.  He was like a best friend and he still is.  After 4 great years of dating, we decided to get married! Continue reading

Watch out for the Big Girls!

Gone are the days where plus size or curvy girls can only shop at certain stores in the mall because those select stores are the only stores that sell “our” size.  It is a great feeling to finally have some of the barriers around plus size clothing knocked down.  Nowadays, more and more stores are providing curvy girl selections, whether in store (and not in the back of the store) or online.  We just have to get out there to shop and we have to be adventurous.  No one said that just because you’re a certain size that you can only wear sweatsuits or long granny dresses.  No, No, No! Continue reading

Dos and Don’ts (November Edition)

Can we all agree that this year has flown by!  It is very hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it’s November already.  But, it’s here and it’s nothing we can do about it at this point but join in on the fun.  With that being said, it’s time for November’s Dos and Don’ts.

Shana:  Take life one day at a time….it’s not a race, you may think your peers are out doing you but maybe it’s just not your time, but it will come!

Toya:  I believe it’s very important for us to appreciate where we are in life and to also celebrate where others are in their lives.  You know, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

S:  We were all put on this earth for a reason, make sure yours is a good one!

T:  We can most often do this by finding our purpose in life or our mission.  Have you thought about that lately?  If not, start doing that now!

S:  Don’t be scared to step outside of your box.  I feel like we all get really comfortable in our everyday life and don’t make efforts to change.

T:  I love it.  Change is often hard but it’s most likely always necessary.  Great point, Shana!!!

S:  Do something good everyday, whether it be for you or someone else. Pay it forward!

T:  Have you ever been in a drive-thru line at a restaurant and you get up to the window to pay and the person before you has already paid for your meal?  It is a wonderful and great feeling.  Let’s all remember to do that at least once this Holiday season.  Let’s pay it forward!  Are you in?

S:  Be humble!

T:  Yes!  It’s important to stay grounded.

S:  If you are a born leader, set a good example.  Not everyone is born this way, some are followers.

T:  Plain and Simple.

S:  We are coming on the season of giving, this doesn’t mean you spend every dime you have buying the most expensive gift for someone.  It’s really the thought that counts, put thoughts into your gift rather than a ton of money.  People will appreciate it more!

T:  Hmmmm…I’m thinking about what I want to receive.  I like expensive!!!!!! Can I have thought and expensive?  Haha.

S:  This time of year is a great time to donate, whether it be your time or donations to a shelter or not-for-profit organization.

T:  I know a lot of organization have already started doing coat drives, Holiday Baskets, and so much more this season.  Reach out to your local organizations or church to see how you can be a blessing to someone else.

S:  Remember there is another holiday between Halloween and Christmas. I feel like more and more people forget about Thanksgiving!

T:  People.  Let’s not forget about Thanksgiving.  It is by far, my favorite Holiday!

S:  Get your rest, you really can’t be your best “YOU” without unwinding a little.

T:  Yaaaaaaaaasssssssss!!  When I tell you I have been working like a mad-dog I mean that.  So much so that I haven’t been getting my proper rest, I haven’t been working out, I haven’t been eating well and I can tell.  Get the 4-1-1 on my life HERE!

S:  Don’t live in someone’s past, I think we get fixated on what a person was instead of what they have become to be. People can change.

T:  To add to this, I would also say don’t get caught up in a person’s potential either.  It can go both ways.  Just be careful out here in these streets!

S:  Be thankful for the things you have rather than what you don’t.

T: Currently hanging on my wall……img_6650

S:  Be optimistic!  No one likes a negative Nancy!

T:  What she said!

S:  Don’t forget, there are only a couple of weeks until Christmas!  Spend time with family and friends if you don’t have the means for gifts and giving! Time is just as important!

T:  Time is everything.  In all honestly and with all jokes aside, it is not about the gift.  But it is all about the time you share with one another and the memories you will create that will last so much longer than any possible gift.  Time is priceless!

Bonus: Ladies/Gents–Do you or your man participate in the No Shave November?  If so, I want to see pics!  Tag me on Social Media or use the Hashtag #ItojaNoShaveNovember

Well, that wraps up November!  It’s a lot of great Dos and Don’ts in this post.  I’m eager to see what was your favorite.  Be sure to leave your comments below and to hit the FOLLOW BUTTON to be sure you’re never missing out on the fun.  We have some fun things already in progress just for you for 2019!

How many of you will join in on the Pay it Forward Challenge that I’m creating at this very moment!  If you’re in, comment IN on the post and then be sure to come back to let us know how you Paid it Forward this Holiday Season!!!!!!! Use Hashtag #ItojaPayItForwardChallenge on your social media feeds so that I can follow along.

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Shana lives in VA with her husband and daughter.

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Get paid to shop online!!

Where are my online shoppers?  I love shopping online, waiting for my package to arrive, and being excited to finally hold it in my hands.  I do a lot of online shopping but even more during the Holiday season. If you’re anything like me, and as busy as I am, then lets get ready to rumble as we approach our favorite time of the year and tons of boxes at our doors. Continue reading

The Perfect Wine Cocktail

Today is your lucky day because I’m giving away one of my top secret drinks that I’ve stumbled upon.

I wish I could take the full credit for coming up with this sweet bubbly sensation that takes place during every sip of this cocktail; but I can’t.

I first became aware of such thing by listening to Reid This Reid That podcast hosted by Jacque Reid and Joy Ann Reid.  If you’re familiar with either of these ladies you know off top that they are leaders and journalist at the top of their game and are all about black girl magic.  Their podcast is fun and informative, covering topics from A-Z; whether it’s a recap on your latest TV show or politics–they have you covered.

They are also very serious about their wine and every podcast there’s a “wine down” segment where they inform their listeners about the wine of the day and just break down what has been going on in their lives over the past week (you should tune in if you haven’t already).

So one day I’m listening to the fabulous podcast of Reid This Reid That where they mentioned their drink of the day was Prosecco mixed with a splash of St. Germain.  Now I was familiar with Prosecco, it’s an Italian white wine with a crisp refreshing taste that has become one of my absolute favorites.  I even served it at my wedding!  However, I was not familiar with the St. Germain.  After a little Googling I found out that St. Germain was made from Elderflowers and was a sweet liqueur.  img_6216

The next week I’m tuning in to the podcast, because I’m a regular listener, and again they mentioned they were having Prosecco and St. Germain!  So at this point I knew I had to get my hands on this liqueur.  As a wine lover I had to make sure their praise of this cocktail was legit.

I eventually made my way to the ABC store where I would purchase the St. Germain.  I browsed a few aisle like I knew what I was looking for.  But truth be told, I had no clue.  In an attempt to not waist much more of my time I decided to solicit help from an associate.

Soon after I would do my first trial run with mixing the two drinks together. Baaaaaaby (In my New Orleans voice)! This cocktail had me on the edge of my seat.  I couldn’t believe how great this drink was.  Immediately, I had my whole life together.  It’s light, it’s sweet, it’s crisp, and it’s GOOD.

It’s the perfect drink if you just need something after work to unwind.  It’s perfect if you’re having a brunch or hanging with your girlfriends.  For me, I love it when I just want some ME time.  On a Sunday afternoon, I’ll pull out my good champagne flutes (you know the real crystal ones), pour me a glass or two, and just take a break from everything in efforts to relax my mind.  It’s perfect!

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Ladies and Gents….this is a must have!  Please let me know if you give this wine duo a try.  I’m eager to know your thoughts and what your taste buds are thinking!

Thank you to the Reid ladies for such a delightful drink! Cheers 🥂

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This post has not been Sponsored and all opinions are of my own!