Dos and Don’ts (August Edition)

I can’t believe it is August already.  I know I say this every month, but I really can’t believe it’s August.  The kids here in my area are getting ready to head back to school in less than two weeks!  Before you know it, the temperature will begin to drop and the chill will set in the air. Ugh.  I don’t mind fall but I hate Winter.  Winter always seem like it last forever!

Any who, here we are at our August Do’s and Don’ts for the month.  The Back to School Edition!  Let’s jump in!

Shana: Talk to your kids about bullying; it really starts at home!

Toya: Definitely!  Besides, the President is the biggest bully there is…lets all be better than him.  Yup–I said that!

S: If you drive through a school zone on the way to work or home, please watch out for our children!

T: Ugh, yes.  But please make it swift.  Adults are trying to get to work.  LOL

S: Your child should be able to talk to you comfortably without being scared you are going to get mad at them… about anything!

T: Love this.  So true.

S: Being a parent, I’ve learned that you should never push your kid too hard but you also shouldn’t let them give up easy either.

T: Be your child’s biggest supporter and critique.  Always, expect greater.  I push my child in school.  She’s literally afraid to come home with anything less than a A and now it’s just what she wants and expect of herself–I don’t even have to say much these days.  She was a straight A student all in Middle School… she’s headed to the 9th grade!

S: Don’t live vicariously through your children, it’s their life.  You already had your childhood let them have theirs.

T:  I believe this is true as well.

S: I saw the perfect meme the other day, it went something like this “Don’t send your kids to school in $100 shoes and no school supplies.” So true!

T:  Can I send them to school with both though?  I just brought my child a pair of Jordan’s that cost $140!  We have expensive taste! hahaha

S: If you have elementary age kids that have to have crayons for class, spend the couple of extra cents and get the Crayola brand, you know the Rose Art don’t color as well.

T: OMG!!!!  Not that Rose Art—those crayons are so soft.  The worst.  Too Funny!!  Don’t buy them for any school drives you may be participating in either. LOL

S: If you have Pandora – two good stations for road trips are Hip Hop BBQ and Hip Hop road trip, they have all the good 90s and early 2000s music.

T: I never use Pandora but I’ll have to remember these stations for when I’m traveling.

S: Another road trip tip, I’m not sure if this is just an iPhone app.  But if you don’t have “Waze” download it now!!  It’s a navigational app that not only gives you step by step voice directions like your typical GPS, but it also informs you of accidents that may be ahead of you, cars on the side of the road, cops, traffic, the speed limit and even directions that will get you around traffic.  It also gives directions to restaurants and shopping centers, it is not a lot that it does not do.  I use this every time I travel!

T:  Same here!  I love Waze.  We, too, use it all the time.  I even use it in town when I’m trying to get somewhere fast.  And no, it’s not just an iPhone app; I know people who has that awful Samsung phone with it as well. 🙂

S: Now is the perfect time to start your Christmas shopping, if you haven’t already.  You could buy a $25 gift card every pay-day or even put $25 back if you want to wait closer to shop.

T: What an amazing idea!  I’ve never thought of this.  I think I’m going to try it this year.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Woot Woot!  And no, I haven’t stated Christmas shopping yet.  I haven’t even thought about it.

S: If you ever get a chance to go to any of the Disney parks, you have to go to Joffrey’s they have the best coffee and the “biggest” best donuts ever in life!!

T: I’ve been to Disney twice, and I’ve never heard of this park.  I tell ya, you can learn so much from other people!  I went to Disney once as a child and then again in 2012 when I took my own child.  Everyone should experience Disney at least once, I think.  But be prepared to stand in long lines, to spend all day at the parks, and to get rained on at least once while you’re there.  I really wish the major parks didn’t cost so much.

S: Summer is almost over, but you still have time to cross off a few of those bucket list items!

T: We are waiting on you! Try something new.  I went hiking this Summer.  It wasn’t on my initial list but I’m happy to have that checked off! Whew!  Read all about it HERE!

S: You also have 4 months to start those New Years resolutions, it’s never too late!

T: Wow.  Shana is really challenging us here.  I don’t recall making a New Years resolution…..let me go and double-check!  It’s been so long ago! LOL

Well, this concludes our list of August of Dos and Don’ts, I just love this edition of Itoja!  I hope you do as well.  Click Dos and Don’ts to catch up on previous months.  Next month may be a little late, but it’s for a good reason – stay tuned to find out why.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Itoja so that you never miss a beat.  Leave your comments below of your favorite Dos and Don’ts for the month or perhaps one that made you think twice!

Talk to you real soon!


Shana lives in VA with her husband and daughter.


Inspiration for our Young Men who are off to College!

Connecting with a person to get your point across is as easy as getting on their level?  Especially, when you’re trying to relay a message to the opposite sex or to a person who may be younger or older than you.

When it was finally time for my nephew to walk the stage after completing High School, I knew I wanted to leave him with a message.  He was completing one goal and getting ready to start another; as he’ll be heading to college in the fall.  Society loves to down play achievements such as these for African-American males but on the flip side they are quick to say one is a thug of sorts.  Therefore, it was my goal to inspire him! Continue reading

College Survival Kit!

A few years ago, my god-daughter graduated from high school and headed off to college soon after.  For her graduation gift I gifted her this special curated survival kit in order to survive her first year in college.  Since then, this has been my go-to gift for graduates.  Of course, you can curate the kit to fit your specific grad.  For me, I wanted to create something based off of my own experiences from college.

I printed off the list and shopped for each of the items listed.  I placed all of the items inside a tote along with a copy of the list so that the grad could refer back to it when needed.  Going to college brings on so many different emotions for everyone involved, but especially for the graduate.  You find yourself in a foreign place where you’re expected to thrive and excel in all areas of life.  It can get tough.  Hopefully this kit lightens the load just a little.

Chewing Gum– Good for chewing while studying or just hanging out.

Make-up Bag– Good to throw in your gym bag when whenever you work out (you can find guys in the gym…IJS) or for quick weekend trips here and there.  When I couldn’t make it home…I often would go home with my friends or roommates.  You certainly learn a lot about yourself and other people.

Tide to go Stick– To get rid of those stains from all those parties you will attend 🙂

Notepad– For writing quick notes, grocery reminders (yes, you have to grocery shop now), studying, or jotting down campus numbers. Network! Network! Network!

Peppermint– Peppermint is known to the smooth the stomach.  There will be a lot of “college firsts” this year!  First time on campus as a freshman.  First time going to class. First time sleeping alone in a foreign place, etc.  These will be a “Life Saver” (I purchased Life Saver Peppermints).

Sleeping Mask– Let’s face it!  Having a roommate isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be. Some of us are lucky to get a perfect roommate and it usually takes a few years until you find the perfect one.  I have so many roommate stories.  One time, I came home late, my roommate had the light switched taped so I couldn’t turn on the light when I walked in. Long story short, I ended up moving out.  Another roommate didn’t like people sitting on her bed or doing anything in the room.  You will soon find out that you can’t live with everyone.  That is ok!

Duct tape– See above. You might need it. LOL

Popcorn– This is good for movie night, study night, game night, or a midday snack.

Oodles of Noodles– At some point, you’re not going to want any more cafeteria meals and you will not have any money to eat out.  Your parents will say…I’m not sending you anymore money! This is when these will be your best friend! Believe me when I tell you!

Wal-Mart Gift card– If you’re anything like I was when I was in college, Wal-Mart was our essential store.  For some reason, we always did our Wal-Mart runs at midnight too. Don’t ask me why.  I guess we thought we were grown and could do what we wanted. Haha.

Advil– Sometimes, college can be stressful, and headaches are known to occur.  Believe me, this will come in handy!

Tissues– Of course these are great for when you are sick. You’re in an unfamiliar place, so that may just happen. But, from my personal experience, these tissues were my best friend after I studied my tail off and still didn’t past the exam.  I called my mom crying on the phone.  I was devastated.  These tissues were also my best friend, after I got myself all involved with a young guy here and there and that didn’t work out either.  Just save them for a rainy day….if you know what I mean!

Quarters– You do want clean clothes, right!  Here’s a little change to help you at some point! HOWEVER, if you’re able to find you a friend in college who is local, I would suggest that you get in good with her. Maybe she’ll invite you to her parents’ house to wash clothes.  You’ll get free washing and probably a home cooked meal too!  Worked for me!

Kit Kat– This is to remind you that sometimes you just have to take a break.  There will be nights when you study all night.  There will be days when you feel like you have so much to do and not enough time to do it in; projects, twenty page papers.  It’s coming, but don’t fret.  Just learn when you need to take a break and everything will be fine.

Storage Tote– Dorms are small.  You will not have enough closet space or drawers.  The best way to deal with this is to start gravitating towards things that can be used for more than one purpose.  Hence, this tote!  Use this Tote for additional storing, fast trips to the grocery, beach day, as a cooler of sorts for those football games, small loads of laundry, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc.  The number of things it can be used for are endless.

Security– There wasn’t a gift I could really give for security but I’d like to leave you with some advice.  While you are away, please be very safe.  Always walk with someone, especially at night.  You have to protect, YOU!  If you’re meeting a guy, take someone with you.  Again, especially at night!  Always, let someone know where you are.  Keep your doors locked.  Trust no one!  Make yourself aware of where the campus police are located for your sake as well as others.

Congratulations graduates and WELCOME to the BEST YEARS of your LIFE! From this day forward, remember that “Life is like a coin. You can spend it anyway you wish, but you can only spend it once!”

Please let me know how your kits turned out!


Helpful Studying Hacks that Every Student Should Know (2 min read) — Millionaire’s Digest Magazine

Written by Millionaire’s Digest Writer: Anthony Bernardo Founder & Owner of: Teachers-to-GO! Online Education Platform Contributor, Education, Games, Successful Living and Writing Writer Teachers-to-GO! Searched for the best study hacks for effective studying. These study tips remind you not to study hard, but study intelligently. 1. Do a little physical exercise before your exam. A 20-minute exercise […]

via Helpful Studying Hacks that Every Student Should Know (2 min read) — Millionaire’s Digest Magazine