If The Shoe Fits

…and it’s on clearance, you should get it. IJS.

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The top two were birthday presents to myself, and the bottom pair is being gifted to me by one of my birthday twins, Tarheelgal!

Funny thing is, I started to get those ankle boots a couple of months ago. Glad I waited!

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52 Week Money Challenge – Counting The Weeks

I was trying to figure out when the weeks should begin and end, and then I found a nice little ISO chart. If you truly are depositing at the end of the week, you could use the “to date” as a guide.

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So, by 2/3/2013 you should have $15 allocated.

How is everyone doing? I may do monthly or bi-monthly deposits until the amounts get higher. I feel sort of silly transferring $3 into savings. LOL!

Advice

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(photo courtesy of this blog)

I usually don’t listen to unsolicited advice. I try not to give it if I’m not asked. Every now and then it just ekes out. LOL! And then you have friends who ask for it without actually asking you, but you can tell by the tone of the conversation that they’re looking for direction.

One of my previous managers in Atlanta contacted me the other day, to give me an update on some “goings on” down in my old stomping ground. That made me think of a piece of advice he doled out back in 2007, with regard to relationships:

“Don’t mess with anybody who ain’t got sh*t to lose.”

I was like, “what?!?” Because he is crazy sometimes (lol). As he broke it down to me, I was in total agreement. We were speaking in terms of a guy (whom I didn’t know), who was struggling with child support issues, but really, this applies to friendships, acquaintances…pretty much any relationship. Apparently, one of the mothers of this guy’s children came up to his previous job and straight crowned him. She clearly did not have 2 flying figs to give.

If a person doesn’t care enough about their own life and livelihood to act like they’ve got the sense God gave a nanny goat, why would they care about your life? If they don’t care enough about losing their own job, not seeing their kids, severing ties with family…you don’t think they’ll wreak havoc in your life? You’re standing there *facepalming* while they tear your life up, literally and figuratively.

People who care about their jobs, financial stability, and reputation generally will not act the fool (of course, there are exceptions to this rule).

They say you are a reflection of your inner circle, the 5 closest people to you. What does that reflection look like? If its ugly, change your circle. It’s ok to change it. I promise.

My locticians/stylists – Tinesha, Kelley and Jessica – live three of the most peaceful lives I know. They are happy because the people around them reflect their happiness, and they don’t allow Negative Nancy and Nathaniel into their inner circle. I’ve had the opportunity to interact with them outside of the salon, and I’ve seen it in action.

I was telling my BFF the other day that there are some people in my life that I’ve had to “go Switzerland” on. Remain neutral. Because there’s too much drama and I just can’t get sucked into the emotional roller coaster of people who act like they don’t have anything to lose.

So, that would be my unsolicited, random advice to you this evening: “Don’t mess with anybody who ain’t got sh*t to lose.”

Blogroll

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Who do you like to read? I’ve found quite a few new WordPress blogs through new commenters (hey lurkers!) and friends’ blogs. My only pet peeve is that iOS is not conducive to me commenting on Blogger blogs (I think it must use Flash…I get locked up whenever I try to log in and comment – is it just me?). Unfortunately, I do more reading on Blogger than commenting. But I do follow you guys in my Google Reader!

Note: I live on my iPad. HH usually takes the laptop out of town. So, if something doesn’t work in the iOS browser, I can’t do it. I promise I’m not trying to be difficult with this Blogger issue. LOL!

I can read just about anything, especially if they have a great writing style. I like to read about fitness, food, hair…life in general. My blog is a mish mash of all those things. Basically, the things that are important to me.

So, hit me in the comments – what are some of your favorite blogs to read and why?

Social Media to the Rescue

To supplement what he’s doing in school, and since he doesn’t get much homework (a whole OTHER post), we usually have CH check books out of the library.

I want him to read the things that he enjoys, but I also want him to read educational books, the classics, and books that will prepare him for being a black male in this country. So, I reached out to my FB and twitter friends for book suggestions, and boy did they come through.

I’m going to put together a list with a brief synopsis of each book, and let him pick what he wants to read next. If I can find copies on half dot com I will just purchase there. I have a feeling the school library won’t have all we need. Not to mention, he can reference the books in the future if we purchase them.

Social media is not all mindless. 🙂

He might groan at this new project, but I think he will enjoy the books once he gets into them.

Muddling Through

A few weeks ago, I read this article, which described step parenting as being a thankless job. When I was searching for the link to include in this blog, a lot of links came up that used those exact words: step parenting is a thankless job.

I don’t know that I’d say it’s thankless, but it is hard. Especially if you come into it not having any kids of your own. My frame of reference is how my parents raised me, how my siblings parent my nieces and nephews…which may be vastly different from how CH’s mom parents him or how HH wants to parent him.

I don’t consider myself a hugely nurturing type. My mom used to always tell me, when you have kids of your own, the instinct will kick in.” I guess…but since I have not actually given birth to any kids, I don’t know how true that theory is.

Last night, I was at dinner with Tazzee and Miss Mile High. We somehow started talking about how CH got sick a few weeks ago and threw up onto his comforter. I told him to clean it up and then put the comforter in the washing machine. He just threw it into the washing machine without cleaning up any of the, uh, food chunks. When he woke me up, it was like he really had no clue what to do, and I wondered if he was thinking that I was going to clean up his vomit. I said, “maybe if he was 5, but at 15 I feel like the statute of limitations on cleaning up your bodily fluids has expired.” Miss Mile High said, “but the way people raise kids today, maybe if you were his mom you would’ve actually cleaned it up. Kids are so coddled today.”

I distinctly remember thinking, “no ma’am.” Mainly because at 15, I wouldn’t have expected my mom to clean up after me like that. I was so much more independent than he is at this age. Is it a girl thing? Maybe so. But there it is again – expectations based on your own frame of reference.

As a step parent, I walk this line every day. Am I nurturing enough? Firm enough? Does this child respect me? Are his biological parents going to block me from parenting in a way I think is correct? You don’t want to step on their toes, but you need peace in your own house. I also recognize that we’re trying to get a boy ready to be a man in this world. I can’t stand to see kids who don’t know how to do anything for themselves. I’ve been washing clothes since I could reach the washing machine knobs. I mentioned to HH that I wanted to show CH how to start doing his own laundry. Mind you, his own laundry, not the household laundry, which is what I did as a teen. And he’s like, “well, I do laundry when I get home, there’s no need for him to do it…” Dude – will you be there to do his laundry in 2.5 years with him at college or in the military? What is the problem with him learning now? Would it kill him to wash his bed linens? Some towels? And then I recognize that if this was my own child that I gave birth to, this probably wouldn’t even be a discussion. It’s just one of the “little” things that I acquiesce on, because sometimes it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Like Valerie J. Lewis-Coleman said, sometimes “step parenting is like working at a late-night convenience store – all of the responsibility and none of the authority.”

I don’t like feeling lost. I feel lost when it comes to step parenting.

Saturday night, I was sitting around talking with my sisters and my cousin, and my cousin said, “Cass is a mom now!” We all laughed, but I remember thinking how foreign that sounded, and how I don’t feel like anyone’s mom. At best, I feel like a guardian. I feel like, he has a mom…he doesn’t need another one.

Parenting, in general, is a lot of little things that no one is going to thank you for, biological parent or not. It’s not a job where you keep a tally and say, “hey, I spent $105 on you this weekend” or, “hey, I took up this battle with this teacher on your son’s behalf!” When you marry someone with kids, that’s just what you’re going to be doing. The difference is, you don’t have that biological bond that makes you do these things. You have to actively choose to do it (or not do it). You have to fight the “evil step parent” syndrome. As a step parent, you have to hope that all of the adults in the equation will focus on what’s best for the child.

Thankless? Sometimes. Difficult? All the time. Who knows, maybe in a year, I’ll have a totally different mind set.

They Don’t Count

I’ve decided that birthday calories don’t count, because I just smashed this salmon dish:

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And when I got back to my cousin’s house, I ate one of these:

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So…yeah. They don’t count. LOL!