#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

Just Keep Climbing! (Picture blog)

Recently, we (my fiance’, myself, and friends from out-of-town) decided to go on a hike.  I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into but I was determined to give it a shot. Being that I live in the valley, mountains are literally in my backyard.

This particular mountain peaks at 3,197 feet.  The trail has mostly uphill terrain with a few flat portions to it.  But I must add that we took the “easier” route but the “easy” route is still challenging; a steady climb of about 1700 feet.  From where we started it was four miles up (which took us 3 hours to complete) and four miles down (which took us 2 hours to complete). Once we reached the top we spent about an hour there enjoying the mountain breeze, refueling off the lunch we packed, and taking pictures.

Instead of boring you with a full detailed outline of the day and the hike itself and how at one point I thought we would never see the end; I figured I would share the pictures from that day because they are worth a thousand words plus more.

Follow me with my pictures as we hike to McAfee’s Knob (The Knob) which is located atop of Catawba Mountain which is part of the Appalachian Trail.

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The men leading the way and carrying all of the water and snacks 🙂

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Nature at it’s best

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A massive rock

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The sun peeping through the rocks

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Only 1.2 miles remained before we reached the top but this 1.2 miles was all climbing.  It felt more like 5.

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The stairs behind me starts the final mile!

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We  FINALLY made it to the top!

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A well deserved break

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I was surprised I went this far out on The Knob; but it is one of the most popular photo places along the entire trail.

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Majesty

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On top of the world

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A view of the city from the top of the mountain

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Some things just can’t be explained

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Another ledge atop of the mountain

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My Boo and I

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Friends

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It was  beautiful day for a hike

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The one time you’re not in a plane but you’re above the power lines!

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Use the signs and colors when hiking to help direct your path

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The end was insight and we were HAPPY CONQUERS!

I love being able to wake up and see mountains surrounding me everyday.  People are usually fascinated whenever they come to my “neck of the woods!”  The hike was challenging and I’m certain that I sweated more this day than ever before.  I burned over 2400 calories in just the hike alone and had over 22 thousand footsteps.  Perhaps, I’ve never been more proud of myself for completing a physical activity.  MAYBE, one day, I’ll do it again! 🙂

What do you think?  Have you ever hiked a mountain before?  Would you give this mountain a try if you could?

Until next time, just keep climbing!

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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 Shutterfly.com.  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!

T:  ABSOLUTELY!

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?                                                  

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Shana lives in VA with her husband and daughter.

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Today, my curls are popping!

Before we touch on my curls today, let me just say that my hair has been the topic of many discussions.  People are constantly asking me where did I get my hair from?  What are you mixed with?  Honestly, I DO NOT KNOW.  But I will find out soon and when I do I will be sure to keep you all inform.

But I am not ashamed to say, I know I have good hair.  I don’t make any apologies for that.  Although many people have hated me for it.  Which is sad.  My hair has always been natural.  Never had a perm or relaxer.  It is naturally curly so sometimes I just embrace the curls.  While other times I’ll wear it straight like seen HERE.  It has grown over the years and I’m ready to go back short, so stay tuned for my hair journey because the saga always continues.

But for TODAY, Yaaaaaaasssss.  A sisters curls were popping.  They don’t pop every day.  Sometimes the curls look flat and not as full.  But today they came through.  I had washed my hair about two days prior so today while in the shower I wet the hair, added some curl bounce conditioner from the Kimble Hair line, dried it with a t-shirt (I learned this on YouTube) and then added some styling foam by Carol’s Daughter.  That was it.  Pop, Pop, let it Pop.img_3411img_3410img_3414img_3416

Did you have a good hair day today?  Any curl tips or secrets you’d like to share?  I’m all ears.

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Photo Challenge: How many ways?

After reading the topic for this week’s photo challenge immediately two things came to mind.  I debated on which direction to go because I  have a hard time making decisions.  Did I want to go the traditional black girl hair theme?  Because we all know that black women run through hair styles as if time is just not on our sides.  Or did I want to go the food direction?  Which, I’ll admit seemed rather blah.  So, I chose to go the blah route!  Only because I didn’t feel like being a narcissist today.  Perhaps, I’ll save the million pictures of me in one blog for another post!  How does that sound? Continue reading

The 4 S’s of Growing!

It was love at first sight, although I cannot recall exactly when it was.  I’m thinking its been at least nine or ten years now.  I had played around with the idea but never became serious about it.  I didn’t know exactly what I would be getting myself into.  I questioned if it would reciprocate the same love back to me?  At the time I thought I only liked a certain type or would only be drawn to a certain type.  So I was unsure of it all.

Upon our initial introduction I was intimidated, as one could imagine.  I kept hearing the stories of lush but tried to push it away.  My girlfriend would say, “you have to give it a chance!”  After months of pleading I figured why not.  Everyone else seemed to enjoy it, I probably just needed to get my feet wet. Continue reading