Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Love Innovation!

I went to a Natural Hair meet-up in Pittsburgh this weekend put together by Check them out, if you're natural and you're local.

I was introduced to Nikki who came up with Nikki's magic wand. For all of the make-up enthusiasts, this wand basically scrapes the sides of your lipglass, concealer, anything in a tube to make sure you get your money's worth.

At the show they were 1 for $10 and 2 for $15. Make sure you check her out and consider the wand when giving gift bags or

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I have sweater problems

I love sweaters. Warm, cozy sweaters, not light, scratchy sweaters. I'm from Chicago. I live in Pittsburgh. It's sweater season.

I was in my closet doing the disgusting rich girl "I have nothing to wear" routine. Then like a child wooed with candy, I opened a box of sweaters and forgot all about my problems. I distracted was like: OOH, SWEATERS.

So I have a red, cable knit sweater that CLAIMS to be machine washable. I washed this thing one time last winter and there are still red BDBs all over my laundry room* because of it. And since they're in my laundry room* they've infiltrated all of my other clothes, my sheets, and my hair bonnets.

Like no amount of sweeping, dusting, Swiffering or lint-brushing makes these things go away.

It's a real tragedy.

Another problem is sweaters that have lost their shape. I have on one today. And to make matters worse, the sun doesn't come up until 7:44 a.m. and I got to work at 7:30 a.m. today, so I essentially got dressed in the dark.

I get to work and realize, not only is my sweater shapeless and unraveling at the shoulder (minor details), but in the fluorescent office lights, I have red BDBs all over this blue and white striped sweater. Maybe no one else will notice. o_O

Lastly, I talked about this on Facebook (and got some good responses, thanks fam), but my cardigans have not lasted more than a season. I'm a cardigan fanatic, so this is a problem. They always have holes in the collar, in the elbows, or worse they just lose their shape. Nothing worse than a wrinkled, shapeless, hole-y cardigan.

So this season, I had to switch from shirts right to sweaters and skip cardigans. I'm going to try to hit up a Talbots or Land's End (in Sears) or maybe even a J. Crew to try the fit of their cardigans because H&M, Nordstrom Rack and NY&Co. have failed me. I also heard that I should dry clean them, so that's on the docket for this winter.

I should probably also dry clean my sweaters so that the BDBs become the cleaner's problem and not mine.

I love fab sweaters, that's my #$%^ing problem.

*laundry room = laundry closet in my bathroom, but laundry room sounds more sophisticated, so just roll with it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Racist Teachers are the Worst

I saw the story that's associated with this video and immediately thought about a dumb teacher I had in grammar school. I don't remember her name, but I remember her name changing because she got married. I was too young to know what her engagement ring symbolized and that she was out for a week for her wedding. I remember that ring though. It was a diamond in the shape of a diamond and it was huge. It used to show up on the projector screen when she was doing math problems. I loved it. For a long time in my life that the type of diamond engagement ring I wanted. Very 90s, I know. This was my fourth grade teacher and I had skipped third grade so I was the tender age of 8. I was just as much of a smart alec then as I am now. We were having health class and she asked how much we wash our hair. Someone said every two weeks. Someone said every three weeks. Someone said once a week. We were a classroom full of little black kids. We didn't really wash our hair that much. She looks at us all, flabbergasted and says "NO! That's disgusting. You are supposed to wash your hair EVERY. DAY. Do you hear me? Everyday." Her little terrified white heart couldn't believe that a bunch of little, poor, black kids had never been taught hygiene. I remember thinking "She's dumb as hell" and getting back to my business. It never occurred to me to tell my mother. It never occurred to me that this teacher should have had ZERO ACCESS to a room full of black students. It never occurred to me that some of the self-esteem issues that any of us dealt with came from having dumb teachers like her who have no cultural training and think the world they live in is the only one that exists. Fortunately for me, I was in a school full of black kids and my teacher was the one isolated. I cannot imagine being in a school full of white students and my teacher asking me to speak with poor grammar and diction and labeling that as speaking "blacker." I cannot imagine living in a world where my own children make have to deal with that foolery. But I don't have to imagine it, because it just happened. Racist teachers are the WORST!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Chugging Along...

I thought I would have been a mentor by now, but things are taking a bit longer than expected. Every time I think I'm done with something... ONE more thing I have to do pops up. Let me give you the laundry list of things that I've done so far:

  1. Registration Form
  2. Read and sign confidentiality agreement
  3. Read and sign the Assignment Guide
  4. Read and sign the volunteer handbook
  5. Provide Emergency Contract Info (Two contacts. This is ludicrous. I don't have two emergency contacts. I have my mom... That's it. I had to ask my first lady of my church to be my other emergency contact and she said yes!. I guess it's good to know that I have some local support if I need it, so that's a plus.)
  6. Local Background Check ($20)
  7. Child Abuse Background Check/Clearance ($20)
  8. Physical/TB Test ($22)
  9. Copy of my driver's license/ID Card
  10. Pre-mentor training
Here's a list of things I still have to do.
  1. A copy of my insurance card. This is a minor detail. I just need to remember on a day that I  drive to work (about once a week), to take the card out of my glove compartment and make a copy AND remember to put it back.  
  2. FBI Clearance - (I've already purchased my fingerprint card for $40, then I have to fill out the form, which I sat down to do today. THEN I have to pay $18, which I was about to write a check for... but they need a cashier's check or a money order or a credit card form. I don't have a printer at home to print out the credit card form. It's Saturday at 6:04 p.m., so I can't get a cashier's check or money order from the bank.)
  3. Two references (fortunately for me, they will reach out to my references AFTER they get all of the rest of my paperwork.)
  4. I JUST noticed as I was writing this blog that it has a checkbox for "training information (documentation, copy of CPR card, etc.)" I hope I don't have to get CPR training. I will if I have to because I really want to be a mentor, but I hope I don't have to.
So in this post when I said I had an 18-pt checklist to become a mentor, that was false. It's a 14-point checklist. I got this checklist on 5/31/13. I'm scared that when I finally send all this paperwork in, they may tell me I took too long and parcel me out to a lesser mentorship organization. LOL!

I'm excited to keep you all in the loop about what happens next.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Help Me Decide

So I bought a dress online for a wedding that in approximately three weeks. The dress is everything my heart desires. It's a size 6. I'm a solid size 6. It's a designer dress. Designers are haters. It does not fit. It does not fit and I might be about a size 8 at this point because I like to eat, don't judge me.

So being consistently healthy is a goal I rarely reach.
Sticking to my budget is a goal I rarely reach.
Giving myself a break is yet another goal I rarely reach.

So here are my options which all represent one evil or another that I have to deal with. Do I

A) Lose 5-10 pounds in the next 6 weeks and just wear the 6
B) Pay about $200 more than I paid for the dress [I got it on sale, which put it in my budget] in order to get the size 8 and just go on about my business
C) Send the dress back because it doesn't fit and find another dress that is in my budget AND actually fits

Now, keep in mind, I live in a dumb city with horrible shopping, so it's possible that if I go with option C, the same thing could happen again. The sizing instructions for the dress I bought said go down a size, which would have made it a 4. I'm a true 6, so I ignored their goofy selves and got a 6, now I need an 8.

The losing weight thing is challenging because I'm stressed out at work and I eat when I'm stressed. This is not an excuse. It's the truth. I like tacos and cupcakes, people. No secrets here.

The paying all that extra money thing is hard because I specifically had a budget for this dress and the sale made it be in my budget. I haven't even bought shoes or accessories yet. Yes, I know I'm fancy, but wait til y'all see this dress. Just Haute for no reason!

So, what should I do?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wedding Advice

Who wants wedding advice, because I have plenty of it! Check out this post (that I'm quoted in) from Credit Card Insider:

"Weddings are generally one of the first big expenses in a couples' financial life together. Knowing they can be pricey, we wanted to compile tips from across our community that can be beneficial to newly engaged couples. Check out the advice below that you, the readers, helped us put together on this tricky topic! Also, be sure to check out the wedding budget calculator we put together based on this advice.
Those redundant words, your wedding day is just one day, may very well be the truth. But society has given us Bridezillas, Say Yes to the Dress!, and all the jazz to keep us wanting that one big day, to be one very big day. Don’t get caught up in the fuss, and listen to the advice from people who have been through this process before."
Enjoy the rest here:

Friday, October 11, 2013

May Was Mental Health Month

and that's how long I've had this information and been meaning to share it with you. Fortunately for you all, I am a recovering pack rat and I don't throw anything away until I've processed it. Below find information that my church distributed in May. With all of the evil going on in the world right now, it's time for a reminder that our mental health is as important as our physical health.

Anxitey Disorder is the Most Common Mental Health Disorder

Each day people are affected by challenges and stressors that might make them anxious. Everyone experiences anxiety. An anxiety disorder, however, is more intense, it lasts longer, and it interferes with daily life. Anxiety disorders tend to develop during childhood, adolescence or early adulthood.

Type of Anxiety Disorders
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is characterized by repeated, intrusive and continuously washing hands over and over.

Panic disorder is characterized by panic attacks - sudden feelings of terror that strike repeatedly without warning.

Phobic disorder makes a person avoid or restrict activities because of persistent and excessive fear. He or she may have an unreasonable intense fear or specific places, events or objects and will do anything to avoid them.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) occurs after a distressing or catastrophic event such as an accident, rape, war, robbery, hurricane, or mass shooting.

For more info visit

Info provided by Balm in Gilead, Inc.: Healing through prayer, education, advocacy and service.