Itoja’s Top Blogs + My Number 1 Blogging Tip!

If you’ve been following me for some time now, then you are aware that I’ve written about everything under the sun.  If you can name it, I’ve probably written about it or given my two cents about it in some form or another.  This is one reason why I like to call myself your virtual best friend—because I’m here to give you the 411—and one of the reasons why you’ll never catch me conforming to a niche.

With that being said, I wanted to highlight a few of my top blogs thus far.  Perhaps there is one on the list that you didn’t get a chance to read or maybe you’re just interested in seeing the blogs that has gotten the most love over time. Whatever the case may be, I have them here for your review.  Believe me, they range from Love and Romance to smoking weed.  It’s a wide spectrum.  It truly makes me laugh out loud!  But, I now know what you guys are into! HAHA.  Listen, this is a no judgement zone so no worries here! 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

Itoja’s Top 5 Blogs of 2018

Hey Friends!

For starters, check out my shirt in the featured picture.  I ran across it online and I just had to order it.  It’s such a conversation starter; with those who know I’m a blogger and also to those who have no clue!

So when I’m wearing the shirt, I typically respond with, yes, I am a blogger plus so much more!  As you all know, I recently celebrated my one year blogging anniversary (you can find that post HERE); this past year has been a blast and I’ve posted a ton of blogs! 🙂  Today, I’m sharing my top 5 blogs of the year with you.  It’s my year-end wrap-up!

At Last….My Love has come along! Here I share my last blog before getting married.  I also share some of the anxieties I was having as we got closer to the big day!

The Black community needs therapy too! Therapy is something that is not often talked about in the black community–Here I share why it IS needed.

My Top 5 Mystery Podcast I love Podcast. It literally helps my work day go by faster. Here are my top 5 mystery podcast. I can’t wait to share more with you in 2019.

5 reasons to read “The Face of Expression” By Aaron Woodson My first book review. Find out why you should read “The Face of Expression.”

I Have Beef With Our Black Brothers Earlier in the year I spoke about why I was upset with Black men. (FYI: Meek Mill, whom I reference in the post is no longer in jail).

Were one of these blogs on your top favorite list?  If you have your own personal favorite, be sure to share it below.

Also, share your favorite podcast–I’m eager to listen.

Be sure to stay tuned for what’s to come from Itoja in 2019.  I can’t believe this year has gone by so fast.  Love what you’re reading?  Click the SUBSCRIBE button and follow me on Social Media!

Your Virtual BFF,



Itoja turns 1

“Be willing to take a chance

because you never know how perfect

something could turn out”

A year in review:

I must say, this has been an amazing year and the term, “time flies when you’re having fun” is certainly true.  While it has been fun, it has not all been easy! I truly didn’t know how people would react to this blog when I first started.  To be upfront and personal as well as relatable all at the same time isn’t always as easy as it look.  However, it has definitely been worthwhile!

Throughout the year I have received feedback of how much THIS blog has inspired others, how it has motivated some, and how the blog has been a delight to read week by week.  I’ve written over 120 blogs this year; we’ve had a Dos and Don’t monthly segment that was a big hit; we’ve talked about relationships, travels, and so much more.

The focus of this blog has always been to showcase everyday life in a way to inspire and connect with other people.  Basically like an online support group in a more fun and updated way.  In today’s world, people are always out and about and on their phones–you can pull Itoja up on your phone in the back seat of a Uber or on a train or while you’re waiting on your food before dinner.  Where you go–I go!

Here is what I know!  I know that life isn’t always peaches and cream.  I know that life is so much easier when you have someone to talk to or when there is a central place where you can come to read and connect with others who may be going through the same thing as you; good or bad.

I also know that sometimes you just want to know about the latest wine that I’m drinking or what I’m listening to this week or perhaps the latest place I’ve traveled to.  Whatever it is that you need Itoja is your virtual best friend (thanks cuz)!  So as we evolve and grow the mission essentially will still be the same.

Party Festivities:

So on this first birthday of Itoja, I’m going to have a little cake and a little dessert wine–my two favorite things.  This particular wine is called Ruby from AmRheine’s Winery in Bent Mountain, Virginia.  It’s a sweet red wine with a hints of chocolate and raspberry and it’s pairs perfectly with desserts or by itself!

I know you all want to send gifts, lol, but please don’t stress yourself.  Instead, like this post, comment, share, and subscribe to this blog.  If you love what you’re reading and if you need a good girlfriend–Itoja is the place to be!

What’s next?:

Be sure to invite your family and friends to join this big circle of friendship.  I promise to keep the content original, to keep it fun, to keep it inspiring and to be a voice for everyone.  Each of you play a very important role in this blog and each week I love dropping into your inbox or on your social media feed to let you know, I have arrived and I’m ready to connect and catch up, as friends usually do.

There is a high that follows any post that I put out when I receive likes or comments–so please keep them coming, especially if you love what you’re reading!

Be sure to follow the blog on Facebook HERE.  As well as Instagram HERE.

And because you matter so much to me, I want to hear what you have to say about this blog, Itoja and how I can make your visit here even more worthwhile.  Your feedback is appreciated!   SUBMIT FEEDBACK!




You’ve asked; I’ve answered! (Getting to know Toya)

In just a few months I’ll stumble across my one year anniversary of blogging and I believe there is no better time than now for you to get to know me a little better.  If you’ve been following along and enjoying this journey as much as I have then you may know a little about me,  but perhaps we could dig a little deeper.  So that’s what this blog is all about; getting to know me better!

To assist me in this project, I asked my readers some time ago to send me their burning questions, and like always, they came through.  Additional questions were added by me and then some were taken from The Fab Files.

Why do you blog?

In short, I love to write.  There is a ton of stuff going on in my head, often at the same time.  I realized that I needed a place to unpack my brain at any given moment of the day.  I want to somehow, someway, empower young girls and women across the world.  Perhaps, even men too.  I’m not opposed to that.  I wouldn’t say I’ve had a rough life, actually, I think it’s been pretty good for the most part.  But I have experiences a lot of things and I want to talk about it all.

What are your goals when it comes to blogging?

My goals are:

– To be a sounding board where we can all come together in one place.

 -To be as relatable as possible to my readers while also representing the black culture.

-To grow as a blogger and to network more.

-Ultimately, my goal is to be the Oprah Winfrey of Blogging! Plain and simple.

What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

I have a ton of nicknames; Toya, Toja, Toj, Loli, Hash Brown, Jamaican Toya (inside story).  I prefer to be called Toya or Toja.  But when I’m at work in a professional setting I prefer Latoya.

How do you come up with your blog ideas?

Inspiration mostly.  I also think about what do I want my readers to learn from me after reading my blog?  Which is why a lot of blogs are centered around my everyday life or experiences but hopefully written in a way to where the readers can learn from or at least start a conversation.  Sometimes I’m giving suggestions on blog post from readers.  I really love when my readers give me suggestions–this is what helps me grow.

What is your zodiac sign?

I’m a Taurus.  I’m a bull but I think for the most part a nice one.  I can be very stubborn and standoffish at times.  I’m not easily moved.  I don’t necessarily make friends easy.  I think the Taurus has a lot to do with that.

Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?

It would have to be a tie between my mother and grandmother.  They are huge givers and they inspire me to be like them, probably more than they know.

Favorite sound?

My favorite sound is silence.  I really don’t like a lot of noise.  There are moments when I will sit at home with no TV or anything on.  I love being in the quiet and stillness of my thoughts.  My phone is ALWAYS on silent.  Which is why I miss a lot of phone calls.  I don’t like to hear it ring constantly, I don’t like to hear text message chimes, or email chimes.  I’ll see it when I see it.

Favorite pastime thing to do?

I LOVE traveling.  If I could travel for a living that would be my job.  I enjoy going to new places and learning about their culture.  It’s exciting and fun.  I also enjoy going to wineries.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud to be a mom.  It is truly one of the greatest blessings and definitely a true way to learn how to love unconditionally.

Name a time when you were really afraid?

This may seem really funny,  but it when I was Jet Skiing in the Florida Keys.  It was the most scariest things I had every done.  I was terrified.  I was cussing and praying at the same time.  I was so afraid.  All I saw was water and I am not a swimmer.  I was on the back of my sister and she didn’t know what she was doing although she tried to act like she did.  I thought I would die.

Are you high maintenance? Explain.

I would say, perhaps, a little.  I enjoy really nice things but I do ball on a budget.

If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be?

I don’t want to say that it’s broke, but I would make the relationships between my brothers and I a lot stronger and closer.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I would have 3 homes.  One in Virginia, my home state.  One in Florida, because that’s where the hubby wants to live.  Then one in California.  I love vacationing in California, the weather is perfect and I love the atmosphere.  In my dream world we would rotate homes about every 4 months!

What is your go to TV show when nothing else is on?

My go-to TV show is most likely any 90’s sitcom from when I was growing up.  I can usually sit and watch those shows for hours.

Did I leave off anything that you really wanted to know?  Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to answer.

Oh, and I’d like to know a little about you too.  Tell me where you’re reading from?



Hello…..are you still there?

Testing, 1, 2, 3, 4…..(taps on mic)…….Mic Check 1!

Hey There!!!

I am super-duper excited to be back with all of you.  As you all are aware, my last post “At last….my love has come along” announced that I was getting married and therefore needed to take a small hiatus from blogging in order to focus on final details of the wedding.  The last minute stuff was the most overwhelming of the whole wedding planning process.  For me, I wanted to make sure everything was just right.  Then there were rehearsals, running a million and one errands, hair and make up and trying to pack for the honeymoon.  We decided to drive 12 hours from Virginia to Florida to then cruise to Cuba and Mexico for our honeymoon, and then had to drive back to Virginia…my life has been REALLY busy.  Oh, and lets not forget enjoying my new HUSBAND!!  Owwwww!!!

I really missed you guys though.  My stress level was constantly increasing and as much as I needed and wanted to blog I honestly didn’t have one minute to spare.  Between my emotions literally being on a roller coaster and just trying to check off all of my “to do” items on my list…..I really couldn’t wait for the day to be over.  We (myself, mother, sister, and aunt) pretty much planned and coordinated my wedding and when you begin to bump heads with your mother, who is one of your best friends and who literally will do anything for you…that’s when you know this has become a little too much and you ask yourself, how did we even get to this place from the beginning?

But, I am back now!  The wedding is over and no love was lost between me and any of my family members. LOL I will now have time to blog, time to relax, and ample opportunities to save money!!!!!!!!! I am also back from our wonderful honeymoon and I’ll give you all the deets a little later.

I’m eager to know what you all have been up to? I hope you all are still aboard this “Itoja” train as I’ve missed you all during this time away.  I also want to know if you have any questions about my wedding, etc?  I’m happy to answer so please ask away.  I’ll be posting blogs about my wedding and honeymoon here and there as well as pictures so stay tuned.

I pray that life has been great to all of my readers.