Printable Inspirational Quote: Life

Do You Choose Looks Over Character In Relationships




While on Facebook yesterday a friend’s post comes through my feed.  The description was “Adorable” and it was a picture of this man who had just been sentenced to 8 years in federal prison for fraud.  I was familiar with the young man, Apollo Nida (below).  He starred on the reality television show Real House Wives of Atlanta.  I looked again to make sure I had read my friend’s description correctly, and yes it was in deed Adorable.  My reaction was Oh My God not another women drooling over a convicted felon.  I commented on her post, and stated “What he is, is a white collar criminal.”  Her response was “True.”  If it’s true, why wouldn’t you speak on that rather than his looks?  I don’t understand our thinking as women at times.  


How does a woman who just reads an article about a man who commits fraud, bilks millions from businesses by the use of Identity Thief, and is now leaving his wife to raise two toddlers on her own considered the man “Adorable?”  She disregarded all of this and focused on his looks.  I don’t get it ladies.  I like a little eye candy too, but if he’s a criminal I can’t find the attraction. Did you see the smoke as I was running away, it all goes out the window for me.  

 Several weeks ago this picture went viral of another convict.  Women went crazy over this guy, he’s charged with a felony and he’s an alleged gang member.  They actually helped raise money for his bail.  I find it hard to believe that we as women can be so superficial, and than we wonder why we end up with superficial.  You know the men who leave us drained, bruised, and beaten if not physically than emotionally.  We don’ bother to look beneath the surface, we’re mesmerized by those chiseled cheeks and baby blues.  When we finally wake up, we’re left with children to raise on our own and wondering how we’re going to make ends meet. We’re surprised when they end up back in jail.  Isn’t that where they were when we found them.  

In the case of Apollo Nida, (top photo), his wife is an attorney and just received her licence to open a Mortuary. An educated woman, but she married him after he was convicted of felony charges charges years ago.  Not only did she marry a felon, she has two toddlers with him. Now she will be raising the boys on her own, because he is returning to jail. His reason for returning to a life of crime was because his wife was making more money, and he was trying to keep up with her.  He had no respect for his wife or his children while he was committing these crimes.  He slept beside his wife and pretended to be a role model for his children everyday for years.  He has now been exposed once again for who he is. Was his wife really fooled or did she get caught up in his looks too and turn the other cheek?  Only she knows.   

I believe that people deserve second changes, and many who have committed crimes are capable of turning their life around, but there are also those who will never change.  How do you know what you have?  Sorry I don’t have the answer to that question.  Relationships and love are a risk, so we must dig deep and move slowly so we can find out who that person really is before your start drooling, giving up your money and committing yourself.  Getting beyond looks should be number one in my opinion.  Now don’t get me wrong there has to be a physical attraction, but I need to get to know you on a spiritual level as well as your values, your background, credit history, relationship with family etc.  I have a list that I use now.  I honestly can’t say that I was very smart in selecting a mate in my past, but my eyes are wide open now.  

Ladies, we have to be smarter in choosing a mate and what we say.  Move beyond the physical and look at who he is.  Ask questions, look at his childhood, but most importantly look at his heart. If a man shows you who he is, believe him. When you read an article or post and the man is handsome, but has wronged his family don’t overlook his character.  It makes others question you or at least wonder what’s going through your head.  Know that you deserve better than a man who only has his looks going for him.

Turn It Up Tuesday – Week 42

Welcome to the 42nd week of Turn It Up Tuesday!
Hope you all had a Happy 4th of July!!!
We received some amazing 4th of July-inspired posts and summer-inspired posts – they were all so much fun to read! Thanks!
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!


Rhonda from Mother 2 Mother Blog

Rhonda is a single mom blogger from the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. She writes on parenting and family, home gardening, and her thoughts on life.
Stop by and check out her blog…it’s definitely a great read!
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Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

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(from the top – left to right)
Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | Jessica from The Wondering Brain | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | April from 100lb Countdown | Becka from Probably Craftin | Carolyn from A Lavender Life | Margaret from The Mother Rising | Kae from Where’s My Pacifier? | Rachel from Craving Some Creativity | Cindy from Mom Maven | Kimberly from Keystrokes by Kimberly| Rhonda from Mother 2 Mother | Lisa from The ‘Fix It’ Stitch | Karen from Quinton Wench | Jillian from Baby Doodah | Katy from Chaos & Kiddos | Tenns from New Mama Diaries

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for July!

TUT Jul 2014

(from the top – left to right)
Katie from View From The Fridge | Elie from Organizer By Day | Ashley from 3 Little Greenwoods | Alycia from Crazily Normal | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Victoria from Giveaways 4 Mom | Tara from Anything & Everything

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 August & September.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

Victoria chose How To Not Get Your Feelings Hurt When Blogging from 702 Park Project. “I chose [this post] because this article discusses a topic that I have not seen throughout the web before. As bloggers we will have people say things to us that we do not like and this blog post shows bloggers how to develop a thick layer of skin and not give up blogging because someone has said something about their blog that they do not like.”
Ashley chose Gold Studded Plank Wall from Houseologie. “This Gold Studded Plank Wall is absolutely amazing! Not only do the planks add texture but the small gold nail heads give the space the perfect amount of glam. Love it!”
Elie chose Mini S’mores Cheesecakes from Annie’s Noms. “Nothing says summer like s’mores and these Mini S’mores Cheesecakes are perfect for any party! Looks delicious!”
Karen chose Hallway Makeover – Final Reveal from Houselogie. “This hallway makeover reveal caught my eye because I couldn’t believe the transformation. It looks like a different place entirely. Love the black and white theme. Food for thought!”
Katie also chose this post. “I am absolutely IN LOVE with everything about this bright hallway makeover from Leigh Anne! First of all, it’s white (my favorite color). Secondly, all the details are just gorgeous! The planked walls with gold tacks, the big arrow, the gold personalized frames, the hanging planter … All of it is simply stunning!”
Katy chose Belly Blasting Smoothies from Happy House and Home. “Any post that starts with Belly Blasting is #1 on my list these days. I can’t wait to put my Ultimate Ninja to the test with these healthy recipes! I love that they are high in protein and will keep you feeling full until your next meal.”
Alycia chose Top 10 Family Activities ~Cheap Family Fun! from A Proverbs 31 Wife. “I chose this one because I am always looking for new and fun (cheap is a bonus) ideas for the family for summer!!! So great to see what other families like to do!!”
Silvie chose Patchwork Skirt Tutorial from Almost Supermom. “I really liked how easy her tutorial is to follow and how beautiful the skirt came out even though it’s easy to make.”
acowboyslife gentleman
Rhonda chose Teaching Your Son to Become a Gentleman from A Cowboy’s Life. “I applaud this mom for taking responsibility for teaching her son to be a gentleman. I agree chivalry is dying in our society; acknowledging that it starts at home and demonstrating the steps on how to become a gentleman is a step in the right direction.”
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April chose My Son Found His Passion from Two Teens and Their Mama. “As parents, we strive for our children to be the best… but we also need to remind ourselves, that they need to be the best them, not the best that we want them to be. College is not for everyone and Lana reminds us why and how this is important.”
Cathy chose Red, White, & BBQ from Eat, Drink, and be Mary. “These are adorable! I can’t wait to make these for our next BBQ!”
Jillian chose Freebie Friday | Daily To Do List Printable from New Mama Diaries. “I chose this post because I think we’re all often on the hunt for the best way to keep track of our “to-dos.” This printable is gorgeous and is the perfect option for your daily list!”
Jessica chose Mistakes | Learn and Let Go from Cayla & Ashley. “Awesome advice especially coming from 2 beautiful young girls! I don’t know where I would be today if I didn’t make any mistakes in my life. Their advice is good food for thought for everyone :-).”
Natasha also chose this post. “Letting go and moving forward is my motto for this year. And Cayla & Ashley have beautifully summed this up and have shown us all that mistakes are part of being human. Beautiful post!”
Tara chose Outdoor Makeover Challenge: Big Reveal!!! from Making It In The Mountains. “I just love everything about this outdoor living space! From the gorgeous table to all the little details and accessories, everything really came together and looks amazing!”
Stacey chose Sweet Saturday: Lemon Sugar Cookies from Adventures of a Jayhawk Mommy. “The hubby and I absolutely love lemony desserts, and these look wonderful! I can’t wait to try these, for a wonderful summer treat! Thank you so much for sharing!”
How to Make Your Blog More User-Friendly
The post with the most clicks is How to Make Your Blog More User-Friendly from B is for…
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And the Best of the Best is…

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My Son Found His Passion from Two Teens and Their Mama
Mistakes | Learn and Let Go from Cayla & Ashley
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 and she will provide you with all the details!
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So now that you’ve met our sponsor of the month, our hosts and co-hosts, and the Featured and the Best of the Best…

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!

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Guide to Companion Planting Book Review

I am now a book reviewer for Crown Publishing, a subsidiary, of Random House.  I will be reviewing various books published by their company.  I jumped at the opportunity to become a member, I love to read and I also love to have reference books around if I need to refresh my memory on a particular subject. As you know, I’m a home gardener.  I received a copy of The Mix & Match Guide to Companion Planting by Josie Jeffery to review.  This book was heaven sent, as I companion plant my kitchen garden.  

I was impressed with the book when I opened the package. The cover and binding of the book are beautiful.  It would be easy to wipe off dirt or accidental spills and the illustrations as you see are just lovely.  It’s a hardcover book with a strong binding.  You won’t have to worry about this book falling apart, it is quality.  

The book is very detailed, but not to a point where you would loose interest in the details.  For example, it gives the history of companion planting and how it is used around the world.  It provides information on soil preparation, manure, composting, and setting up rain barrels to help water your garden.  This is information that you truly need to know if you want to become a sustainable gardener and do it efficiently and at minimal cost.  I have been composting for years, added manure, have devised a method to keep weeds down, but have yet to add a rain barrel.  I hope to add a barrel this summer for next year’s use.  

Lets move to the content. I love how the book is designed.  The book is set up with 2 cards, for a lack of a better word.  One card has the name of the vegetable/flower along with information on when to plant, where it should be planted, growing tips and when to harvest.  Opposite the first card is the second card which shows a beautiful picture of the plant.  The content is set up with three sections, which is great if you want to hold your place to make notes on a particular plant, but still want to browse another section or find a particular plant in another section.  

In the back of the book is a place to make notes.  I think the books to beautiful to write in, so I would make notes elsewhere.  It also contain an index in the back of the book, which will help you find a particular page for the plant you wish to research.  

I have this book a thumbs up and 5 stars.  It’s actually one of the most beautiful and informative gardening books that I have come across, and it’s an easy read. The book retails for $17.99 in the states and $20.99 in Canada. I would encourage you to purchase a copy, especially if you’re a beginner gardener.  It’s a great reference for the advance gardener as well.  I’m grateful that I now own a copy.  

Note:  I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  

If You Want To Be Mentored You Must Show Up

People can be transparent if you’re willing to look hard enough.  Several months ago I was contacted by a young lady to be her mentor.  As a single mother who survived raising my daughter, I reach out and try to help other single mothers on how they can be successful too.  I can relate to being a teen mom, getting married, divorced, and left to raise my daughter and fend for myself.  I don’t post about my mentoring sessions on Mother 2 Mother, because of privacy reasons.  It’s personal for me and personal for the person being mentored, but I do post on my experiences because moving forward is hard work and not for the faint at heart. If I can pull someone else up or help move them forward, it does my heart good.   

Being raised in a dysfunctional/alcoholic home, teen mom and divorced category was enough for me. I knew I had to break the cycle, and so I did. Breaking out of these categories requires a willingness to listen, accept where we come from, and hard work to get out of it.     

Before I accept a position as a mentor for young ladies and not so young I have a test that I give. It lets me know if the person who is requesting to be mentored is serious about growing and moving forward, if they’re willing to do the necessary work to survive as a single mother, and allows me to see where their head is.  I ask 4 questions and I require a written response.  I like for it to be in writing so they can reference it during the course of their journey and it serves as a reminder of where they started when they arrive finally at their destination. Here’s the questions:  

  1. Tell me about your life and how you ended up where you.
  2. Tell me about your children and your relationship with your ex.   
  3. Where do you want to be in 5 years?
  4. Are you willing to work to educate and better yourself?  If so, list 5 goals.    
I never heard from the young lady again.  She must have thought I had a magic wand and all that was required was me waving it in front of her.  If only life was that easy. I saw right through her when I didn’t receive a response.  She wanted an easy way out, unfortunately there is no easy way out.  Ladies, this is why we need to make wise decisions in our life.  People who look for a easy way out don’t realize they are transparent.  I see you!  She really didn’t want a mentor, she just wanted me to give her a solution.  Excuses and why you can’t do this or that will not take you down the road of success.  Excuses are a way for you to stay where you are.  My response, more power to you. If you don’t think that you can do better why should I. If  you can’t answer basic questions, you’re not willing to do the work and you’re not going anywhere anyway.  

Reminds me of this single mom who choose to stay at home with her child, but was asking others for thousands of dollars to help pay her bills.  If you can’t pay your bills, maybe you’re not in a position to be a stay at home mom, hello. Thousands of single mothers go to work everyday, so they can pay bills and their children turn out just fine. Just as important, if you want someone to mentor you, show up and be prepared to do the work. What I’m saying doesn’t have anything to do with me thinking I’m better or not having empathy for another’s position or situation, but sometimes we just need to get real, take a good look at ourselves in the mirror, and realize that we’re where we are because of decisions that we make. If it’s not improving your life and moving your forward, why stay in the situation and continue doing the same things over and over. You must be willing to open your eyes, and take a good look at why you’re where you are. True, there are many who have fallen on hard times or have ended up in a bad situation, but you don’t have to stay there. It’s a choice.  

Over the course of the years I realized that I don’t have to see things your way and you don’t have to see things my way.  That’s the beauty of living in this great country, but this is my blog so I’m writing from the way I see things.  I know that we don’t all have the same situations nor are our experiences the same, but some things are universal.  When you get real, stop making excuses for yourself and what you don’t want to do, you’ll put yourself in a position to do what you need to do.  

Image courtesy of 

Inspirational Quote: Setting Goals

Inspirational Quote: Life Experience

Finding Your Self-Esteem After Divorce

self-esteem after divorce
First, have you lost your self-esteem after divorce?  I have a little advice for you, “Take yourself off the clearance rack and get behind the glass case”, my friend.  The message being sent is you will treat yourself like a clearance item rather than a diamond behind a glass case if you don’t see yourself as valuable.  Being a divorcee doesn’t mean the end of the world.  I’ve been through one, but I learned to place myself in the glass case years ago. Because I learned that if I don’t see myself as being valuable why should anyone else.

Furthermore, women often loose esteem after divorce.  It’s nothing new. They become single parents, they take on the responsibilities of the children, upkeep of the house and everything in between.  Needs often go on the back burner.  As  a result, we become lonely and often loose our way.

So, when we have low self-esteem we have a tendency to look for love in all the wrong places.  And we settle for less than we deserve because we think we can’t do any better.  I’m here to tell you that you can raise your self-esteem and self-worth.  When you do, things in your life will change for the best.

Now, find your self-esteem and self-respect before it sinks to the bottom of the ocean.  All that you need is inside of you.  We all come from something, but we can’t go through life blaming everyone else for our demise or lack of insight.  Here’s my story, I came from an alcoholic background and I was a teen mother.  I made bad choices, but those things don’t define who I am.  Those things are simply a part of my journey in this thing called life.

These 10 steps will help you discover the new you:

  • Develop some standards and principles – These are the things that define who you are.
  • Learn to distinguish between abuse and constructive criticism – Abuse will tear you down and leave you feeling worthless.  Constructive criticism will help you improve who you are.
  • Become self sufficient – Needy people open themselves up to becoming a doormat.  Become self-sufficient. It helps build confidence and self-worth.
  • Get healthy – When you get healthy physically, it will improve your emotional and mental health as well.
  • Get rid of negativity – This includes negative people and negative thoughts about yourself.
  • Change your circle – Socialize with successful people and those who respect you.
  • Know the difference between respect and confidence – Respect is about what you do, confidence is about how you feel.
  • Show respect for yourself and others – If you want people to respect you, you must respect other people.
  • Learn to remove yourself from destructive situations – If a relationship is not nourishing or helping you to grow, get out and move on.
  • Motivation – Get motivated and stay motivated. Don’t allows others to bring you down.  Read self-help books, attend seminars or get a mentor.  Just stay in your zone and stay on course.
Finally, know that you won’t evolve over night.  However, you can change negative thoughts about yourself and discover your self-worth again.  Raising your self-esteem after divorce will take dedication and hard work, but you can renew you.  Most importantly, underneath the layers you will find a respectful and confident you.  
We hope that you found our tips on how to raise your self-esteem after divorce helpful.  You may also like: How to Empower Yourself Emotionally.


Printable Butterfly Scrapbook Pages

Wordless Wednesday

                                           Belle, every girl should wrap their hair in satin.