Archives for May 2014

Self Improvement: Is Your Foundation On Solid Ground

Are you built on a solid foundation?  I was engaged in a conversation recently about being successful in our relationships and in our life.  I remembered something that stuck in my mind from years ago,  What stuck in my mind was simple, “If it’s not build on the right foundation it won’t stand.” That applies to relationships and success.

I started thinking about myself and the many people that I’ve encountered over the course of the years.  Some of my relationships/friendships have withstood the test of time and some were temporary.  I know that those that didn’t last weren’t build on the right foundation, at least not for me.  I teach this concept when I’m mentoring and while I’m leading my family and staff.  I teach it because we must be a cohesive team and our values must jell; otherwise, there will more than likely be discord.  I’ve adopted this concept and here’s why:
  
I see my house, me, as having 3 major components. The first is my foundation. My foundation is what keeps me standing.  It’s what allows me to bend, but not break. It’s what allows me to be able to weather storms when they hit. My foundation is my values that I’ve worked to develop over the years.  My values change, but they have always allowed me to remain steadfast and there are many that I will not waiver on.  Here are a few of my values:


  • Assertive – I have learned to assert myself over the course of the years.  I’ve worked on speaking my mind, but doing it in a tactful way.
  • Open-minded – I’ve learned to accept people for who they are. They may not think the way I do and they may not live their life the way I do, but I’ve learned to let people be people.  I don’t need to socialize, be friends or have a relationship with them.  People are going to be who they are and I just don’t expend time and energy trying to change one thing about them.  I don’t sleep with them nor do I depend on  them for my lively hood, so they can kick rocks.  I just remove myself and continue with my life.  
  • Faith – It’s important that I believe in someone other than myself and I never waiver from my Faith.
  • Self-Reliance – Self-reliance is important to me and one that I don’t waiver from.  I want to be able to sustain me and mine, and never have to rely on other people to keep a roof over my head, feed, cloth or sustain me in anyway unless it’s my husband.  Since I don’t have one, I work to take care of me.  I have the ability to do just that, so why should I take advantage of other people to do what I can do for myself.  If I’m going to teach others to be self-reliant, I must practice what I preach.  
  • Honesty – Another value that I will not waiver on.  I believe that a person’s word is their bond.  If you can’t live up to your words, it falls into the same category as being unreliable. You can’t be trusted, so what’s the point. 
  • Diligence – Remain steadfast and never give up.  This attitude will lead to you achieving your goals and ultimately your success.  
  • Resourceful –  You must build resources in order to be successful.  In my opinion, you build resources so you can build comrade and create great things together or assist one another in reaching a common goal.   
  • Real – The only fake thing that I like is the gel coating on my nails.  Other than that, I’m real and will remain real for the rest of my life.  If you can’t be real, you can’t show people who you really are.  You can count on what I say, and you can count on it being the truth.  At least my truth.  

My second level is my frame.  I’m robust!  I’m thick enough where I can’t be snapped.  Within my frame is my goals, my decision making skills, my education and training.  Basically, my repertoire. My skills for survival and success.  The lessons and skills that I use to raise and assist my family as well as mentor and lead others.  I work continuously to enhance my skills.  The world changes constantly, so it’s important that we all stay on our game.  Education is the key to success.  It doesn’t have to be a formal education, you can educate yourself.  There are many who have been successful without a college degree, but having one certainly helps.  You don’t have to have a 4 year degree to be successful.  You can obtain an Associates and do great things in your life.  It’s all about your ability to seek and obtain.  


My frame also includes my personality and how I see the world.  My approach to life and my belief system.  I have set high standards for myself and I work everyday to maintain what I have accomplished and continue to reach for what I haven’t.   


Last is my frame out.  How I present myself, my frame and my values to the world.  You can acquire education and possess skills, but if you can’t put it together for the benefit of yourself, your family and make a contribution to society what good is it.  I’m thankful that I have worked toward everything that I have.  It empowers me to assist others in receiving theirs. When you feel good about yourself, the sky is the limit. 


How are you built?  What is your foundation built on and what do you include in your frame out? Everyone doesn’t have to be built on the same foundation nor do we have to have the same frame or frame out.  That’s what makes us individuals.  Just make sure that your foundation is solid and it won’t crack when you encounter a storm.  


Photo courtesy of clipart101.net


Inspirational Quotes: My Destiny

                                                                       

Turn It Up Tuesday – Week 34

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!

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What did you moms out there do today? We’d love to hear it! Share it here on Turn It Up Tuesday!
Welcome to the 34th week of Turn It Up Tuesday!
Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this blog hop the best that it could be!

As you may know, Turn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up your favorite posts and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time!

SPONSOR OF THE MONTH

Angie from God’s Growing Garden

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In addition to being our fabulous guest host this month, Angie is also an amazing blogger. With over 40 years experience gardening, cooking, baking & canning, Angie can definitely be considered somewhat of an expert in her field.  Her blog, God’s Growing Garden, focuses on helping her fellow ‘backyard farmers’ and features some great blog hops including The Great Blog Train and Wake Up Wednesday Link Party. Angie is also celebrating her 3rd blogiversary with a big giveaway…make sure to sign up!
Are you interested in having your blog or website featured in this spot? Then, sponsor Turn It Up Tuesday for a month! Click here! It’s only $5 for an entire month!
Use promo code: MAYFLOWERS all month for 50% off!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

TUT Hosts 5.8.14

Unfortunately, Angel has left us as a co-host due to her hectic schedule…and we can completely understand! We look forward to having her back…and soon! Love ya Angel!

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for May!

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Interested in being a guest host or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly co-hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.  We’re now accepting guest hosts for June and July.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

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Debbie chose Five things I would rather do than fold laundry from The Brown Girl with Long Hair. “I love this post because I can relate completely. It seems laundry is never ending and I want to run away and do anything but look at it or think about it.”
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Angie chose Homestead Tips on Tuesday: Heed the Frost Date from The (mis)Adventures of a “Born Again” Farm Girl. “I have had to learn the hard way by not heeding the Frost Date & losing tender seedlings. If you are a gardener this date is essential for successful crops.”
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Cindy chose The Day My Husband Was Drafted into the NFL from The Brown Girl with Long Hair. “I am a football fan and we have watched the draft for years. I found it interesting to read the story from someone who has been there. I can’t imagine the emotions and stress of having your career path being defined in such a way.”
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Carolyn chose Jewelry Storage and Organization from Woods of Bell Trees. “I thought it was a really creative, lovely way to store your jewelry.”
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Ranjani chose Cherry Lemonade Jello Popsicles from Organzier by Day. “I found this simple yet refreshing. It is definitely on my to-do list for this summer now.Cant wait to have a summer party with these cute lil popsicles.”
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Jillian chose DIY Wood Photography Background from Sew Crafty Cat. “I chose this post because it is a brilliant idea for those of us who get involved in any sort of crafts that need pictures. Plus, it’s not something I’ve seen done before.”
Karen also chose DIY Wood Photography Background from Satisfaction through Christ. “I love this project, it’s so simple yet so effective as a background. I am in need of something like this, so it’s given me food for thought.”
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April chose Self-fulfilling Prophecy from Blossom Family. “Being a parent, can often drive you crazy. Once the child starts behaving in a certain way, you start to attribute that trait to them (i.e., he often doesn’t listen, therefore he’s a “bad listener”). But you know what, Marwa tells us about how we can change how we see it and how it can change them too.”
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Stacey chose Fruit Pudding Salad from Mommy on Demand. “This looks absolutely delicious! I am always looking for cool treats to combat the hot summer months. I will definitely be adding this to my recipe list! Thanks for sharing!”
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Rachel chose The Little Moments – Transforming Ordinary Moments Into Unforgettable Memories from Satisfaction through Christ. “I love her perspective and how she takes a chore and changes it into a cherished moment. I enjoyed reading her story because it reminded me how much I treasure those little moments with my son.”
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Katie chose DIY Map Art from Satisfaction through Christ. “I love the colors she used for the map and frame, and the stenciled burlap makes a great background! I also LOVE maps, and have yet to decorate with them (but that just might change soon, as Abby has my DIY mind going now). I think it would also be fun to paint your home state in an accent color, too! Great project!”
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Rhonda chose My Child’s Education Is Not Your Fall Back Degree from British Mum USA. “A mother discusses her displeasure of our educational system, and the fact that is seen by many as a fall back career if they’re unsuccessful in their chosen occupation.”
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Natasha chose Time Management for Bloggers Part 1-Writing from Mom Maven. “I have been working on managing my time better everyday. With all of the things that I’m juggling, time management is an important factor for me. Great post!”
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The post with the most clicks is Free 20 Page Blog Planner Printable Pack from The Organized Dream.

 

If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!
Epic Mommy Adventures
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And the Best of the Best is…

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Cherry Lemonade Jello Popsicles from Organzier by Day
time management

 

As the Best of the Best, you win free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures for 30 days! Please showcase the badge below with pride on your blog!
Please send an e-mail to Natasha at 1EpicMommy @ gmail.com and she will provide you with all the details!
Epic Mommy Adventures
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Just one more thing…

Natasha at Epic Mommy Adventures has been nominated for voiceBoks Top Single Parent Blogs!!! She is in the top 50 right now, but would really appreciate your vote to help her be in the top 10!
Click here to vote for her! It would be greatly appreciated!


So now that you’ve seen the Featured and the Best of the Best, met our hosts and co-hosts, and heard about Natasha’ nomination…

let’s get started!

  • Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.
  • Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier!
  • Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!
Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!
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Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

Never miss another Turn It Up Tuesday! Sign up for reminder e-mails!

Interested in reading all of the Featured Posts on Turn It Up Tuesdays? Or do want to know if your post was featured before we go live next week? Follow Natasha Peter’s board Featured on Turn It Up Tuesdays! on Pinterest.

Inspirational Quotes: Are You Free?





                                                                    

Happy Mother’s Day: A Feast For Queens

I had the best Mother’s Day ever!  How was yours?  We actually celebrated Saturday instead of today.  My daughter was home, so we decided to celebrate a day earlier since she has a 5 hour drive home today.

The weather was perfect and so was our time together.  We actually had 4 generations present, my mother was there to celebrate as well.  In this photo we have 3 generations, my granddaughter, my daughter and me.  Not my most flattering picture, the photographer didn’t say cheese, but how wonderful is that.  This was the first time that my daughter and I have spent Mother’s Day together in 6 years.  Since we have quite a distance between us and Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, she usually spends it at home with her family.  


My son-in-law decided that he would bring us together this year and all we would be required to do is sip Moscato, chat, play with the children and just relax. He would prepare a feast for the queens that we were.  The other men were suppose to assist him, but he ended up doing it all. My heart is still full.  My favorite food is seafood.  There were 3 different salads, Caesar, Pasta and Seafood.  He prepared to 2 different dishes of Salmon and in addition we had crab cakes and shrimp.  We worked from morning to evening preparing everything and it was delicious.  He set the table, which was beautiful and my 6 year old grandson blessed the food.  We believe in establishing faith early.  


We had a wonderful time and enjoyed every morsel.  The men allowed us to eat first and once we were about to explode, they took their places.  It was first class treatment all the way headed up by the best son in law in the world.  





This is a picture of my sister and mom who where also present.  The dinner was actually a tribute to the women in my daughter’s life who made her who she is today.  It was a wonderful experience, especially since my mom is getting up in years.  


It was also to let me know that she hadn’t forgotten my struggles as a single mother and that she understood that it takes a village to raise a child.  My sister played a major role in my daughter’s upbringing.  She made sure she was taken to school each day and kept her on some week-ends when I needed a break.  My mother stood by me during my struggle to empower, educate and rise above my situation as a single mother.  They made sure that my status as a single mother was simply that, it did not define who I was.  I can said that I had assistance, but my daughter was raised by me not other people.  Because you work outside the home, that doesn’t mean that other people are raising your children.  It’s as simple as setting up a schedule, getting organized and doing what you need to do as a mother.   

My daughter gave me a beautiful poem that basically stated not until she became a mother did she truly understand me and my determination to survive and give her a life better than mine.  In truth, my life wasn’t that bad.  She understands that I want her to do better than me, and the key to success is education and making sound decisions.  There is no room for excuses or blame for what happens in a person’s life after a certain age.  Being an adult means you take responsibility for your life and those in it.  She understands that we must work for everything in life, and when it is achieved it empowers.  I knew this week-end she understood my teachings and examples, and she would continue to stand on the foundation that I laid.  This was one of the best Mother’s Days ever, I am truly blessed.  

How To Harden Off Garden Seedlings


My seedlings have germinated and are thriving.  I had a 90% successful germination rate.  All starters have been re-potted to larger pots, but for now they’re still under the grow lights.  I plan to start hardening them off this week.  


My herbs, oregano, dill, cilantro and basil germinated.  All of my tomato seeds germinated, which is unusual for me.  I usually lose a few.  This year, I allowed then to stay in the starter pots longer.  I think this method allowed the roots to get stronger before I re-potted them.  I save pots from the garden center when I purchase my flowers and reuse them for my vegetable plants the next season.  My squash, watermelon, peppers and zucchini germinated as well.  I’m looking forward to a great growing season.  

The plants are ready to be hardened off.  What is hardening  off?  It’s where you expose your plants to the elements gradually.  First, I sit them outside for a few hours in the shade.  The next move is to gradually expose them to the sun and longer hours outside, and than I leave them out overnight.  Once they get used to the temperatures, I leave them out until I’m ready to plant them in the garden.  


I have about 20 plants ready for the garden.  I estimate that I have $5.00 in seeds this year.  I would never be able to purchase 20 plants from a nursery or garden center for $5.00 and another $3.00 for potting soil, which I will also use in other areas of the garden.  I will direct seed the cucumbers and green beans.  


This week I will work on getting the manure in the garden and having it tilled. I should have the plants in by the end of the month.  Stay tuned for future posts.  






                                                                   

Inspirational Quotes: Clean Out Your Closet

A Heartfelt Recognition of a Single Mother

Did you see Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma Thunder’s acceptance speech for the NBA MVP award?  If you didn’t, you should.  I’m not a big NBA fan, but I am familiar with most of the players as I come from a family of sports addicts.  Yes, I called them sports addicts.  ESPN is their friend and if I want to be around my family I have to endure.  My grandson wanted these shoes, KDs as he calls them, so I purchased a pair for him.  I’m glad I did, Kevin Durant is a man of true character and a great role model for our youth.  



I watched Kevin Durant’s speech while getting dressed yesterday and it had me in tears.  It had me in tears for several reasons:  1) I was watching a man who came from nothing to be one of the most successful players in the NBA accept the MVP award and 2) He contributed his success to his teammates, family, but most importantly his single mother.  

It affected me in several ways, but I think the biggest was the fact that his success was another example of a son raised by a single mom who went on to do great things both on the court and in his community.  It also affected me because it was another example for single mothers to use as inspiration to keep moving forward because you can successfully raise your children too.  


During the speech he recalled watching his mother struggle to put a roof over his and his brother’s heads.  He talked about how she went to bed hungry because she made sure they got enough.  He recalled their first apartment that had no beds or furniture, but they were happy because they had each other.  He recalled his mom making him do push ups, run up hills and yell at him from the sidelines during his sporting events.  Most importantly, he considered her to be the real MVP for the sacrifices that she made raising him.      


I was literally in tears as I watched his mother fight back tears while he was speaking to her during his acceptance.  It was one of the most heartfelt speeches that I have ever witnessed.  I understand the struggle of a single mother trying to do the best for her children and sacrificing so they can have enough and at times the best.  I know how difficult it is to have to work, educate them, keep them off the streets and build a strong foundation for them so they can have a future.  I have seen a lot of athletes or people for that matter recognize their mother, but I have to say that it’s far and few that recognize mom in the manner that he did.  What a great Mother’s Day gift.  


Your children will follow your lead.  Wanda Pratt, Kevin’s mother, talked abut how her mother told her that it was time for her to move out of her house and make it on her own.  It was tough love, but it made her determined to raise her children on her own and give them a good life.  Single mothers, this is what I’m talking about, you must set priorities, become independent and be an example for your children.  Nobody owes you anything, you must make your mark in the world. Becoming educated and independent is empowering.  With hard work and dedication, you too can raise your children successfully.     

Lupita Nyong’o Redefining Beautiful

America has a new image of what is beautiful!  Yes, a dark skin African American woman is gracing the cover of People Magazine.  It’s quite refreshing for me as an African American woman to see Oscar Winner, Lupita Nyong’o taking her place among the likes of Julia Roberts , Cindy Crawford and Halle Berry.  I will always remember how beautiful she looked on the red carpet for the Golden Globes.  I thought the color of her dress against her skin color was breath taking.   (See Lupita in the bottom picture). 

Unfortunately,  women of color are rarely seen as beautiful. Like it or not, this is the truth.  Sure we’ve had Vanessa Williams and Halle Berry, but never a woman who is the color of milk chocolate and has natural hair, a wide nose and full lips.  I don’t purchase People Magazine, but I will purchase this particular issue.  I want my granddaughter to know that she can be seen as beautiful and not have blond hair, blue eyes and white skin.  Not that I don’t see women who have these attributes as beautiful, it’s important that our daughters have roles models in all colors, shapes and occupations too and we need to start promoting more of them.  After all this is America.  A melting pot of diverse people.   

 

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but as an African American we struggle to find beauty within ourselves.  We never see it on television and we rarely see it in magazines or books.  I think Lupita summed it up nicely, she said she first equated beauty with what she saw on television too, “Light skin and long, flowing, straight hair,” She says. “Subconsciously you start to appreciate those things more than what you possess.”  Her statement couldn’t be more true.  It starts to affect your self-esteem and who you are.  You start thinking that you will never have those attributes, so you must be ugly, unlovable and the list goes on.  

I decided that I would work on  my granddaughter’s self-esteem early as I did with my daughter.  I told my daughter that she must constantly tell Zarriah that she is beautiful and praise her regularly.  She must grow up to be confident in herself just in case the world doesn’t see her that way.  If you’re not a woman of color, you may not be able to relate to this; however, it is an important issue for mothers and grandmothers of color who are raising daughters and granddaughters. 



I was elated when I found out Lupita will also be promoting Lancome Paris products.  I spend tons of money on Lancome as it is my make-up of choice, so it’s nice to see the Brand reaching out to a more diverse clientele.  We have a long way to go in this country in defining what is beautiful, but we’re off to a nice start.  

Photos courtesy of People Magazine

Inspirational Quotes: A Walk In My Shoes