Dos and Don’ts (July Edition)

I cannot believe it’s July!  Kids are in full summer mode and vacations are happening every week.  The days are longer and it’s hot.  Time flies when you’re having fun and with that being said, that brings us to our “Dos and Don’ts” for July.

Shana:  Give to give, not to receive… if you give a gift to someone give because you want to and not because you expect something in return.

Toya:  Giving is better than receiving!  When you bless others you will be blessed in return.

S:  If you do something for someone, don’t hold it over their head.

T:  There is nothing worse than someone bringing up something they’ve done for you especially during an altercation.  Not cool.

S:  Try new things, they say taste buds change every 7 years and I think that could go for feelings and emotions also, something you may have hated years ago could become something you love now.

T:  I remember growing up I didn’t like grapefruit.  Now, I can eat it and find it very tasting.  So it’s true, taste buds do change.  Be brave and try something different or old in this case!

S:  Wash your towels in hot water, I promise it will make them feel brand new again!

T:  And throw like 4 washing pods in there!  That’s what I do.  HaHa.

S:  You remember that diary you kept as a kid, do it as an adult but call it a journal.  You don’t have to write every detail of your day, maybe just thoughts and ideas.

T:  Journaling is great especially for relieving stress.  I would even go a step further and say you don’t have to write in it every day.  But perhaps a few times a week when you need to debrief and get things off of your mind.

S:  I feel like no one really uses an actually camera anymore.  Everyone take pictures on their phone.  But you should still print pictures off and keep photo albums.  You need something to show your grandchildren one day; like your grandparents did you.

T:  I’ll let you in on a secret of mine.  I create photo albums from  I’ve created vacation books filled with pictures from vacations.  I’ve also created random picture books.  My family created a memory book for my uncle who passed away.  There are truly a ton of options from baby books, wedding books, and many more.  Not only do they have a lot of options but the books are very easy to make.  It’s one of my favorite things!  Give it a try by clicking HERE to get a FREE 8×8 photo book!

S:  Check on your strong friend!!!!

T: Ditto!

S:  Not everything is about you and not everyone wants to constantly hear you talking about you.  Give others a chance to talk also.

T:  This is good advice.  Many people should take heed to this.

S:  I recently heard if you were over the age of thirty to not to wear eyeliner because it makes you look younger.  I’ve recently been doing this and really can’t see a difference. So wear what you want!

T:  Interesting.  Perhaps I’ll try one eye and see if I can tell a difference. LOL

S:  Build your friends up, don’t tear them down by always trying to “one up” them.  Friendship isn’t a competition.

T:  Friends shouldn’t be jealous of other friends.  If they are, they’re not a true friend.

S:  You can do anything you put your mind to!


S:  Don’t change for someone else, change for you.

T:  Shana is preaching this month!  Just imagine me clapping my hands right now saying, YAAAASSSSS!!!!!!

S:  Keep your pocketbook organized, you will feel better about your life.

T:  I heard once, that if your purse is junky that means you have a man and don’t have time to clean it out! Haha.  But in all seriousness, you’ll function better with an organized and clean pocketbook or purse but for me, it only stays like that for two days max.  So then it’ll be a mess for about a week or two until I get around to doing it again or until I switch my purse.

Thanks for reading our monthly Dos and Don’ts.  We really appreciate it.  Check out prior publications HERE!  Let us know what you think in the comments below.  Here are some fun questions for you.

Just out of curiosity:

Do you say pocketbook or purse?  

Do you sprinkle salt on your watermelon?                                                  


Shana lives in VA with her husband and daughter.


Dos and Don’ts (May Edition)

Can you believe that we are already 5 months into 2018?  Which means it’s time for another edition of “Dos and Don’ts.”

Please check out prior months HERE.  Also, if you have a “Do or Don’t” that you think we should hear please feel free to send them my way at  You never know when it may be published!!!!

Just like always, these suggestions are brought to you monthly by Shana and I follow-up with my thoughts.  You can follow Shana on IG HERE or on FB HERE.

Shana: Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.  Don’t use all of your resources on one thing! – Broaden those horizons because there is more out there for you!

Toya:  This is sound advice and something that most are taught from an early age.  At times, it can be very hard to stick to this idea or concept.

S: Don’t waste time worrying about something you have no control over, everything works its self out in the end; whether it’s the way you intended or not.  Remember that everything happens for a reason.

T:  I have to tell myself this several times a day.  I find myself wanting to be in control and sometimes have a hard time letting go.  I’m learning to trust myself and others more. Anxiety is not fun.

S: Be the friend that you want to have and remember your friends are allowed to have other friends.

T: 👏🏽👏🏽 I love this!  In January I wrote a blog centered around friends, click HERE to read all about it!  Just remember that friendship is a two-way street.  It’s a relationship that also requires work as well as sacrifices.  Friends shouldn’t be jealous of their friends or their friends, friends.  But they should encourage, uplift, and support each other.

S:  Hear say is exactly that…

T:  Pretty much!  Don’t sweat it.

S:  You are not going to like everyone and everyone will like you, so just be nice and keep it moving.

T:  Your character speaks a lot about yourself.  He who angers you, control you!

S:  Don’t be petty, or overly dramatic….well unless you are 8 then it’s only somewhat okay.

T:  Haha.  Everyone loves a little pettiness though, right? LOL

S:  Accept change.  It’s the only way to make it through life.

T:  Certainly true.  Life is all about change.

S: Do not stress.  You are too pretty for that!  Have a glass or a bottle of wine, it works wonders!

T:  You don’t have to tell me this twice.  I’m currently loving Prosecco.  You should try some!  I recently heard that if you add a splash of St. Germain to your Prosecco that it’s like heaven.  So that’s my next mission.  I’ll give you my thoughts when I try it!

S:  If you have kids learn to enjoy things they enjoy, it will keep you young at heart.

T:  And it will also keep you busy.  I’m just saying!

S:  If you wear makeup wash it off before you go to bed, let your skin breathe!

T:  You should probably do this.  Although, I can admit that there are nights when I completely skip this step in my nightly routine.  I do like the makeup wipes though, it makes it a lot easier and quicker.

S:  Wear sunscreen!!! I feel like I can’t stress this enough.  Melanoma is in the top 10 most diagnosed types of cancer!  I actually had a friend to recently go to the dermatologist and was told to wear chap-stick at all times.  So for all of you who make fun of the hundreds of chap-stick tubes I keep with me, ha!

T:  Dear Black People, just because we don’t spend a lot of time in the sun doesn’t mean we do not need sunscreen.  We not only tan but we can also burn as well. Even when it’s cloudy outside, sunscreen should be worn.  As it gets warmer and we begin to wear less clothes be sure to have your sunscreen!!  Here’s a picture of me from vacation last summer.  The Caribbean sun burned me to a crisp.


S:  I stole these last two from one of Toya’s blogs but they really resonated with me:

“We may be delayed but we are not denied” – everything may not happen in your time, on your schedule but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

“Never think that you are exempt from anything especially if you have not taken the precautionary steps” – people really need to read this sentence aloud and read it often, because I think we all live our lives like nothing bad could happen to us, when truth is we don’t know.  Only the man above knows exactly what our every move is before we make it.

T:  The above two quotes were taking from my “Delayed but not Denied” blog.  To get a better context of those two quotes, please click the above link for the full blog post.


Well that does it for this month!  Let us know what your favorite “Do or Don’t” was for the month.  As always, your comments, likes, and shares are welcomed.

Love what you’re reading?  Click the follow button to be sure you’re always connected to Itoja!


Shana lives in VA with her husband and daughter.


Martin Lawrence is Selling Massive Virginia Ranch — Happy Haute Home

Happy Monday!  Today, I’m sharing a post from Happy Haute Home.  If you love all things house related she is the one to follow.  Today she shares a home in Virginia (my neck of the woods) that Martin Lawrence is selling.  I didn’t even know he had a home in Virginia.

My question here is, do I have any takers who would like to go half on a home with me?  Ok, let me be realistic.  I can’t go half or thirds or anything close to that but perhaps we could go in on it like a timeshare?  What if we had 15 or more couples who would go in on this beautiful home and each couple could get the house so many weeks out of the year for vacations and small weekend getaways?

Sure we would need a ton of contracts in place but perhaps it could work.  I love this house but I’m really kidding myself here.  Besides, there is nothing wrong with dreaming.

Anyway, take a look at this 8.5 million dollar house by clicking the link below and I’m sure you’ll get to dreaming too!

See ya around—Toya

Martin Lawrence is Selling his 116 acre Ranch located in Purcellville, Virginia. The home was renovated in 2004, and includes 2 beautiful lakes with a dock. The estate has 5 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and is 22,000 square foot. Also included in this dream home is an indoor pool and hot tub, bowling alley, home theater, and basketball court. This…

via Martin Lawrence is Selling Massive Virginia Ranch — Happy Haute Home

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