The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 20: WITH THIS RING


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Hello lovelies,

What do you do when two of your co-workers marry each other during Spring Break?  You go to the wedding of course!  Join me in celebrating the wedding of two really nice people on a beautiful spring afternoon.

DAY 20: WITH THIS RING

The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 19: DAY OR NIGHT/THE PERFECT DAY


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Hello lovelies,

For Day 19 of the #SSSVEDA Challenge I decided to merge two topics - whether I'm a day or night person and how I would define a perfect day.

Are you a morning person, a night person, an all-day person (perhaps you function best at any given time of the day)?  Heads up, I'm a night person.  :-)

Second question, how would you define the perfect day?  Oooh.  I want to know!

DAY 19:  DAY OR NIGHT/THE PERFECT DAY


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 18: PLANT-BASED HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS I LOVE


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Hello lovelies,

Over the years I've been on a quest to minimize products.  When possible, I do enjoy multi-use products, whether they be for personal care or household use.  Today for Day 18 of the #SSSVEDA challenge, I want to share with you some plant-based household products I have been enjoying.

What natural or plant-based products do you like?

DAY 18:  PLANT-BASED HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS I LOVE


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 17: KINDNESS MATTERS


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Hello lovelies,

On Day 17 of the #SSSVEDA challenge, I decided to take you around town with me to the Arts Council.  There, you will be able to see some of the artwork of local artisans, but also you'll get to go along with me to have some headshots made.  Besides school pictures, I've not had any professional pictures like this taken.  I'll definitely share with you the exciting news when it's time, but join me on this little adventure.

DAY 17: KINDNESS MATTERS


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 16: HE IS RISEN


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Hello lovelies,

....and Happy Easter!!!  For Day 16 of the #SSSVEDA challenge, I strayed from the script and decided to share a piece of a song from my church and a few photos to commemorate this day.

I hope you all enjoyed a Happy Easter!  Feliz Pascua!

DAY 16:  HE IS RISEN


p.s.  My brother is home for the week, so the three of us get to hang out together during my Spring Break.  Good times!

The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 15: MY EPIPHANIES


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Hello lovelies,

Today is the halfway mark!  Woot Woot!  In this segment, we are to share what we've learned in the process.  I have two epiphanies to share:
1.  Vlogging everyday is difficult, so pre-schedule the videos.
2.  I have to have time to create something.  If not, it's pretty bad.

To get the details, check out the video dedicated to this.  *wink*

DAY 15:  MY EPIPHANIES


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 14: MAKE TIME FOR YOUR FRIENDS


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Hello lovelies,

Life has a way of keeping us busy and sometimes that busyness interferes with the important things in life.  One of those important "things" are the people in your life - family and friends.  My schedule is jammed-packed all the time so when I want to meet up with someone, in order for it actually to happen, I have to schedule it.  Choose a date and just go for it.  If I say, "Let's get together this summer" and a date isn't chosen, it will never happen.

After I had my taxes filed, I was able to meet up with a friend whom I hadn't seen in almost 3 years. Just one hour of time together was worth the drive.

How do you make time for your friends?

DAY 14:  MAKE TIME FOR YOUR FRIENDS


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 13: WHAT'S IN A NAME?


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Hello lovelies,

Today the topic of discussion centers around names.  Sometimes we are named specifically after someone, like a family member.  Other times names may be chosen because of its sound.  And then names can be chosen for cultural significance.  I'm sure there are other rationales behind the choosing of a specific name, but one thing I believe is that names matter.

My parents explained the significance of my first name.  As a kid, I wasn't too much a fan of it because it was long and in my generation, there was a plethora of these short, cutsy names like Amy and Tina.  I had what was considered a classic name.  Timeless.  Fast forward to now, I wouldn't change my name (although I also use my nickname).

What about you?  If you have children, how did you decide upon their names?  What does your name mean to you?

DAY 13:  WHAT'S IN A NAME?


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 12: MY GUILTY PLEASURE


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Hello lovelies,

This post is short and to the point!  In this less than 1 minute video, I share with you my guilty pleasure.

What's your guilty pleasure?

DAY 12: MY GUILTY PLEASURE


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 11: GETTING NEW TEETH


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Hello lovelies,

Please pardon me for getting behind in sharing these next few days of videos.  Life happened!

As you know, last year I began the implant process with my teeth.  In fact, I had 3 oral surgeries last year.  Now, it's time to finish up that process.  What's left?  Impressions, crowns, and a final follow up.

Take the journey with me today to get those impressions made...

DAY 11:  GETTING NEW TEETH


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 10: DOLLAR TREE HAUL AND EASTER "BASKETS"


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Hello lovelies,

For Day 10 of the SSSVEDA Challenge, I take you along with me to the Dollar Tree to show you how I created two Easter "baskets" for the other two members of the Instructional Lead Team at my workplace.

Instead of using traditional baskets, I used planters instead.  I don't usually make Easter baskets, but it was fun to make something for these ladies.  I hope they like them!

Do you make Easter baskets for your kids?  family members?  Do tell.

DAY 10:  DOLLAR TREE HAUL AND EASTER "BASKETS"


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 9: AROUND THE TOWN WITH ME


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Hello lovelies,

For Day 9 of the #SSSVEDA challenge, I've decided to take you shopping with me.  I finally got out of the house, after getting my hair washed properly at a salon, and I decided to make a day of it to take advantage of some of my favorite stores.  Honestly, when you've been cooped up in the house, it just feels good to get out.  You have to make yourself do that sometimes or your mind will start playing tricks on you and you'll get down or have a little pity party.  No time for that.  So out and about I went.

I was surprised to see that many of my favorite stores had items I had been looking for for so long.  I now realize the importance of shopping at the beginning of the season.  White is in and I've got some updates I want to make to my home.  I didn't purchase too much, but I've got my eye on a couple of items.

Let's Go!

DAY 9: AROUND THE TOWN WITH ME


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 8: MANAGING SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS


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Hello lovelies,

For today's segment, I decided to talk a bit about how I'm going to help manage a skin condition I have - seborrheic dermatitis.  I've been diagnosed with this since I was about 20 years old, so about 20 years ago.  It's not a condition that can be cured; only managed.  I believe that the root cause of mine is stress related, as it only flares up during really stressful times.  Dermatologists often prescribe a shampoo (which is not designed for my hair type because it clings terribly to all my coils and is difficult to wash out) and a oil steroid (which if you use it too much you will think out your hair).  So basically, I do my best not to have to use those products.  Managing stress is the real key and also having a moisture routine that really, really works!

In reviewing my hair/scalp life, I realized that my scalp and hair were at it's best when I followed a more Ayurvedic routine.  The herbs used are powerhouses for managing and getting rid of many conditions as well as adding moisture to the hair.  It can be a bit time consuming, which is how I strayed away, but luckily through Etsy, I found someone who has dedicated time to mixing these herbs.

If you're interested or just a bit curious, check out Priya from the NIRMITY Shop:  Ayurvedic Hair Mask - http://etsy.me/2nWIUnm

I also decided that instead of getting extension twists or braids or having my own strands out, I would try a wig!  GASP!  I've done that before a few years back, but this wig is well-made and I absolutely love it.  It's made by Toni Daley of ToniDaley.com.  She designed this wig to mimic the hair of a popular Youtube Vlogger, Gabrielle (Gabe from GabeBabe TV and The Gabe Fix).

I hope I'm on the right track.  I hate that I had to lose some hair in the trimming process, but hopefully with the TLC I'm giving it, it will grow back faster and healthier.  I'm pretty sure when my schedule calms down, my scalp will too!

DAY 8:  MANAGING SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 7: WHAT SPRING MEANS TO ME


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Hello lovelies,

Day 7 of the challenge was to tell what spring means to you.  I love the idea of spring.  It's such a gorgeous season, who can resist it?  But the flip side of that is that it's detrimental to my immune system.  Sometimes it feels like it literally takes my breath away.

This year, spring came early and so the devastation has been more longterm.  I had so much fun creating this video on the flip side of spring.  I hope you enjoy!

DAY 7:  WHAT SPRING MEANS TO ME


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAYS 5 AND 6: FAMILY & INFIRMITIES


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Hello lovelies,

I've been fighting illness for a while...allergies/sinus, flu, and now bronchitis for around 2 months now.  Then after I finished all the meds for that, I just continued to cough and it got worse.  As a result, I had to combine my days 5 and 6 because that's the best I could do.

My day 5 topic is on my family and my day 6 was about my ER visit.  Stay tuned!

DAY 5 and 6:  FAMILY AND INFIRMITIES


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 4: I LOVE THURSDAYS


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Hello lovelies,

Today's challenge was to talk about what we loved about Mondays.  I had a hard time finding much to talk about regarding Mondays, so I changed it to Thursdays!

Thursdays are pretty cool to me because they are more than halfway through the work week.  It seems like no matter how wild the week has been, when Thursdays come, you feel like you can make it through the rest of the week.

What's your favorite workday week?  What do you like about it?

DAY 4:  I LOVE THURSDAYS


The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 3: MY DAD - MY MENTOR


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Hello lovelies,

In today's challenge our topic is on mentors.  As today is the anniversary of my father's passing, I decided to dedicate this video to him.  He was a mentor to others during his lifetime, including me!  As a pastor, educator, and a person out-and-about all the time, he had contact with so many people whom he could impact.

If you recall my posts years ago of the times we had painting together, those are times that I realize now that my dad was teaching me a lesson.  Even through the act of painting!  Imagine that.  Always teaching.  :-)

Who are your mentors?

DAY 3:  MY DAD - MY MENTOR

The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 2: VACATIONING


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Hello lovelies,

Today's topic for SSSVEDA is on vacationing.  To date, I haven't been on that many vacations, but I'd love for that to change.  I consider a vacation to be a time when you can drop everything and escape, even for a short period of time.

I'm an introverted person, with extroverted qualities, so I need down time.  I need quiet time away from people to get myself together.  My dream vacation spot in the U.S. would be in the mountains. Otherwise, I'd like to retreat to some place tropical.

What about you?  How do you vacation?

DAY 2:

The SSSVEDA Challenge | DAY 1: INTRODUCTION


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Hello lovelies,

For the month of April, I've decided, once again, to embark upon the SSSVEDA Challenge.  In this challenge, participants upload a video each day in the month of April.  The challenge creator, Amy Schmitteaur, provides daily topics, but you can deviate from that if you want.

I want to share my videos with you as well.  I know many of you may not follow my Youtube channel so I'll embed them here as well.

DAY 1:  INTRODUCTION



The Tea Tag


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Hello lovelies,

I recently participated in a Tea Tag on Youtube and I wanted to share it with you as well.  I'm pretty sure that this tag isn't isolated to the Youtube community so I want to tag each of you tea lovers because I'd love to see your answers.  If you choose to participate, please create your blog post and add it into the link up below.



Here are the questions for the Tea Tag:

1. Hot or cold?
2. Strong or weak?
3. Loose leaf or tea bags?
4. Do you buy your tea out or steep it at home?
5. Favorite cold tea?
6. Favorite hot tea?
7. When do you like to drink your tea?
8. What do you like in your tea? Milk, cream, sugar, etc?
9. Have you always liked tea?
10. What tea do you recommend?
11. Do you have a favorite brand of tea?
12. Least favorite tea?
13. Is there a particular snack you like to eat with your tea?
14. What is your favorite mug?




Plan with Me + an Oops Giveaway!


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Hello my lovelies!

Each year I toy over which planner I will invest in.  Once again, I decided to purchase the Erin Condren planner to satisfy my planner needs.  I opted for the vertical layout because I am able to designate each section for different areas of my life.

I don't invest in as much stickers as I did last year, but I do love prettying up my monthly spread.  It's fun, truth-be-told.

Well, for some odd reason, I received an extra planner set identical to what I ordered for myself.  Because of that, I've decided to host an Oops Giveaway!  The giveaway is only open to Youtube subscribers in the U.S. who leave a comment on my Youtube channel to let me know how you would use this planner.  That's it!

Check out my video below to see how I'm using my planner and hopefully you'll be intrigued to subscribe to my Youtube channel, if you're not already subscribed, and of course enter the giveaway.  The more the merrier.  :-)

 

Giveaway Rules
* Subscribe to my Youtube Channel
** Like this video
*** Leave a comment on my Youtube channel to tell me how you would use this planner

Remember, U.S. addresses only.

The deadline is Monday, March 13, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Good luck and Happy Planning,

Happy Valentine's Day - 2017


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Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!  (Some may also say, Happy Friendship Day!). I'll take that too.

I know that people may celebrate (or not) Valentine's Day in different ways. For some it's the most endearing holiday and for others it is cringe-worthy. I feel neither of those polar-opposite emotions this year. Does that mean I've evolved?  lol . This year I open proclaim my Mom as my boo! Yes.

My Mom has gotten to where she likes exchanging Valentine's Day gifts with me.  I'm not exactly sure when this began, but I noticed it especially after my dad passed.  Before, it was more of a thing between them.  Now, I gladly share my Valentine's with my Mom.  This year she gave me a small gift bag with a card, an inspirational book, and a few candy and scented treats.  Do you think I left her hanging?  Absolutely not!

I had already purchased a gift basket about two weeks ago for Valentine's. The basket was filled by a member of an educational organization in which I am a member. That made it all the more special. Check out my video to see all the goodies my Mom and I shared (or will share).


So, how do you spend your Valentine's Day?

Smooches,

On My Mental Bookcase...


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In my mind, I'm dreaming of a retreat, surrounded by the tranquility of the mountains, sipping tea and reading any of the following books on my Amazon wishlist, in no particular order...

{Book Source}
The story of a homeless mountaineer who was built 55 schools, particularly for girls, that offered a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

{Book Source}
This book explores the pictures of childhood for black and white middle-class, working class, and poor families.

{Book Source}
The autobiography of Sandra Cisneros.

{Book Source}
Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker whose family fought to save many Jews. As a survivor of Hitler's concentration camps, Boom lives to tell of her life as an evangelist in the 20th century.

{Book Source}
The story of two Nigerians, separated due to the military's rule in their homelands and facing their own realities in both America and London, are rejoined fifteen years later in a democratic Nigeria.

I can't wait to read any of these books.  What's on your book wishlist?

My First Avocado Toast


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This year I want to add more plant-based meals in my diet.  I've been watching hoards of YouTube videos of plant-based meals, including avocado toast.  Jenné a.k.a. SweetPotatoSoul, one of my favorite vegan Youtubers, isn't shy about her love for avocado toast, so I decided to give it a try as she recommends....sprinkled with fennel seeds.

Such a simple breakfast - mashed avocado with salt & pepper, spread on toasted oatnut bread, and sprinkled with fennel seeds.  The first avocado toast was so good, that I made another.  And drank it with a cup of rosy earl gray tea.  You guys know how I feel about my tea.  Yum.


Did I mention that I'm attempting to grow an avocado tree...indoors?  Ha Ha!  No, but seriously, my students from last year wanted to plant my avocado see in water so I let them.  And this is where I am with this tree at this point.  I need to place it in soil and see what happens.


So what simple breakfasts do you enjoy?  My morning prep time is super limited (like practically non-existant) and I need ideas. Do share...

xxx,

Happy New Year! {2017}


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{Image Source}

And finally...by God's grace, I was able to press "submit" for my research paper, presentation, and post survey!  Finishing unfinished business has been a test of faith in the midst of extreme fatigue, oral surgery, and life happenings, but it's done!  As soon as it's official, completing this work means that I can prepare for my comprehensive exams this spring semester.  

So thankful for the support of friends and family and a jovial, yet competent oral surgeon who understood my sudden request for fried rice and caesar salad.  Thanks, Mom, for making two food runs to ensure my health, well-being, and sanity.  And special thank you to my friend who encouraged my heart, this morning, through the voice of Daryl Coley.  And now my vacation (of 1 day) can begin...(starting with shutting this computer off!)


I wish you all health, peace, love, and the blessings that only God provides during the coming year. 

Happy New Year!  

xxx,