Fam-tabulous!

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Every year for the past couple of years, my family and I take a break from our every day routines.  One year we took off of work and school and went ice skating, went to dinner and then went to an event near our home.  Last year, we went to West Palm Beach during the Halloween weekend.  We laid out on the beach in Miami and even drove down to the Florida Keys.  It’s very important for us to break up the monotony of everyday life.  I know you’re thinking, “Why is she always talking about taking breaks?”

The short answer is, because it’s important.  The long answer is, because it’s absolutely necessary.   

When You Know Better…

I became a mom at a young age.  As I grew older, and had more kids, I slowly began to realize how quickly time moves.  My babies were growing up so fast, and outside of the few birthday memories I had of them, nothing else really stood out.  My life was filled with rushing here and there.  I never felt like I was taking time to enjoy what was around me.  

I don’t have a lot of money, and honestly I realized that I didn’t need it.  When you commit to putting time aside for you and your family, you realize that you don’t need a lot of money to make it happen.  Flying to Florida with 5 people hit our pockets, but it wasn’t insane.  We saved up for the trip.  We didn’t do anything too lavish while we were there.   We didn’t eat out every night, we bought groceries.  The kids were content with the beach and the few museums we found.  

They Come First!

Kids don’t require a lot of material objects.  They require a lot of your time.  Once I realized that one key, I made sure that my family came first.  ALWAYS.  My job knows that my kids come first.  They are flexible with me.  I get my work done, as a condition of my employment, but I don’t let it stress my life.

There was a point in time when I would work all the time.  I would check my blackberry (now iPhone) at all times of the night and respond to emails.  I thought it made me look like a dedicated worker.  But then I realized that it affected my time at home.  I didn’t think the kids noticed me on my phone since they were engaged in other things, but one day my daughter came up to me and said “You’re always on your blueberry mommy”.  LOL!  

Now What?

Today, I am trying to figure out when and where we will go for our family day/weekend.  I have quite a few events I am planning this year and early next, so it will have to be local.  

Get out your pen and pad.  Hit up the internet. Find your next destination.  It doesn’t have to be far. Start local.

I’d love to hear any ideas you have!  Share them!

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Old Lady Lulu!

So today, I was working from home.  I heard a frantic knock on my front door. I figured it was the postman with a package.  They usually knock and walk away, to let me know the package is at the door.  I ignored it.  Then they began knocking on the door again.  So, I tiptoed to the front door to look out the peep hole.  The person on the other side of the door sported a bright orange construction worker vest.  I didn’t know who the heck it was, and refused to answer the door.  

She had a clip board in her hand too.  So then I am thinking….am I being served papers or something.  But still, no peep from me.  After a while, the lady starts taking pictures of the front of my house.  My heart starts racing.  See last week, I was messing around on a realtor site and listed my home for sale. I just wanted to see if anyone would bite.  I only listed it for 8 hours because the next morning, my phone was BLOWING up.  I opened some insane portal of crazed realtors.  They were like relentless, zombies after commission!  ( I used to be a realtor, so I get it)  

Anywhooooo, so now I am thinking… “this chick is about to put my house for sale!”  . I monitor her and then notice she walks to my backyard….I forgot to lock it shut this morning.  I become livid.  So I open my patio door and begin screaming “Get Off My Property!!! NOW!!”  She keeps asking if my name is XXXX.  Then as she tries to explain herself, I cut her off and tell her I am going to call the police.  I am looking real loco right now.  So she runs to her car and they take off down the street.

I get back to my computer and I’m annoyed.  I was on a work call, so I couldn’t call anyone to share that I had just chased some weirdo off my property.

All would have been well with the world if I didn’t get this message from my husband 5 mins later:

Awww damn!!  Nobody told me she was coming!  So this Allstate agent probably thinks I am theeee craziest person right now.  I’m so embarrassed that I scared that poor woman off.  In my head scarf nonetheless, you know to solidify the cray-cray.  

I’m sorry Miss Allstate Lady!! I’m not crazy.  Don’t up our premiums because you think I may pull out my shotgun on the next person that comes on my property.  

I need a drink!  

The Morning After Pill

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On Tuesday, the nation elected it’s 45th President of the United States of America.  For a presidential race that seemed to linger for what seemed like an eternity, the results came in as unexpectedly as a swift kick to the throat.  I’ll admit, it was and still is a hard pill to swallow.

Or was it unexpected?  For 8 years, we’ve lived in the bullsh*t  proclaimed “post racial” society where we witnessed the brutalization of black and brown people from a smart phone.  We’ve watched a son killed on Facebook live, a daughter killed over a traffic citation, and even a father killed for standing on a corner.

As I watch the gentrification of Washington, DC happen, I am astounded at the amount of uneasiness I feel…as a black woman…in Chocolate City.

My goal is not to write a think piece on the true state of our union.  I’m not equipped mentally to do that, plus I’m not eloquent enough to write those type of posts.  But I will say that it hurts me to have to explain why we elected this person to be the president.  I’ve never had that experience.  I’ve never seen children CRY over an election.  My 6 year old came home confused as to how this man won.  At 6, I don’t even know if I cared about an election.  Let alone knew who was running.

I asked my 15 year what was the discussion at school when news erupted of the winner of the presidential election.  She joked that most kids were going to “move to Canada”.  While we laughed at the notion, I really wanted to know her thoughts.  I sat with her and asked her why she was upset that this person was elected.  I wanted to make sure she understood what was happening and what the implications of this person being in office could mean for everyone.  And with pride, my baby was able to articulate her feelings and her knowledge on how the government works.  She wasn’t just mimicking what she saw on SnapChat, she actually knew what she was talking about.

That talk was reassuring.  And now I’m working with her to see what we can do at a local level that will lead to changes at the federal level.  She understands how civics works.  She knows that there is more at stake then just who is sitting in the oval office.  She seems hell bent on making sure the next 4  years count as a learning exercise.

I want people allowed the opportunity to grieve.  Let us be upset.  Folks spent 8 years butt hurt that our President was black.  8 years!  They never got over it.  They were so upset that they spent 2 years rallying up their goons to make sure we didn’t try anything like that again…you know like maybe a woman president.  I can’t emphasize how this is much more than Don Cheeto giving state of the union speeches.  This is about a segment of folks that are treating him as the damn key master who opened the gates for them to show their entire racists ass.    We’re putting yall on notice….we’re NOT our parents.  Don’t get that ass tagged because you puffed your chest to the wrong sister or brother.

My bestest friend in the world did a FB live post on our “post election blues”.  It’s great insight! Check it out!

 

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Captain $ave A….

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The holidays are coming up.  And they are coming up fast.  The trend to shop online has increased sharply over the years, as consumers opt to wait for their packages in the comfort of their home.  Long gone is the day of sifting through piles of products, only to have to stand in obscene long lines.  Since shipping can happen relatively fast now a days, it makes shopping for the holidays a little bit easier. This post is geared at helping you get the most bang for your buck.

As my family has grown, I’ve looked for more ways to not only save a dime, but to also save time.  I’ve worked on streamlining a lot of my shopping by using various online shopping tools.  I’ve got coupon apps on my phone that ding when I am near a store that’s having a special sale.  I even follow a lot of the coupon mavens that tell me what coupon and store special combined that can save me some major dough.

I think one of my biggest finds has been Amazon Prime.  I signed up for Prime years ago, when it first came out.  I’ll admit, my first intention was to “beat the system”.  I signed up for their free 30 day trial close to the holidays.  I ordered most of my gifts from Amazon and loved getting the free 2 day shipping.  My plan was cancel my order before the free trial was up.  Well I forgot, and I was charged a whopping $70 for the year.

I was quite upset, so what did I do….I tried to stick it to the man and purchase a bunch of stuff to make it worth the $70 I was charged.  But then something happened (aside from me going broke and making Amazon rich).  Amazon started rewarding their Prime customers with more free content and other features.  I got to the point that I no longer scowled when I was charged the $70.

I use Amazon Prime ALL THE TIME!  I use it to purchase my type 1 diabetic’s diabetes supplies (needles).  I use it when I am in a pinch and need something immediately. I’ve honestly had items come in less than 2 days with out selecting the One Day Shipping option.  I’ve used it as entertainment for the kids, since they have a lot of free digital content.  I’m spoiled by Amazon Prime and am thankful I didn’t cancel my subscription.

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Have you tried Amazon Prime?  How do you like it?  If you haven’t tried, I’d definitely go for it.  At least use it to your advantage as you do your holiday shopping.  Free 2 day shipping on all your holiday gifts for a whole month, with no minimum order.  If you hate it….cancel it.  I always set a reminder on my calendar to cancel free trials at least 2 days before they are to expire.  So do that as well.

 

Little Red

 

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to test drive a 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SE.  I had an entire week devoted to looking at all of the features, analyze the on road performance and incorporate it with my day to day activities.

Now, I know you are wondering….Crystal, how did you get your tall behind in that little car?!

Here me out….When I first found out which car I’d be receiving, I was a bit taken back.  I have 6 people in my family.  Surely we weren’t all going to fit in this small sized car.  I’ve got a baby seat and booster seat to think about.  Plus kids that scream if the other looks at them, and will go ballistic if they think one is actually touching the other.

But I do have a 15 year old.  She’s going to be getting her license some time next year, and I’d love to see what car options are available to her.  

As I awaited delivery of the car to my house, I remembered that in high school, a close friend of mine had a 2 door Mitsubishi Mirage.  We had a half day schedule and after class we’d head down Georgia Ave to “Babe Watch” the guys at Howard University.  We had so many memories in that mirage, and they all began to flood back as I amped myself up to receive the car.

When the car arrived, it appeared even smaller in person.  But the cool thing was it was a bright cherry red!  The same color as my friends.  I got a quick walk around and when the delivery people left, I began to check out all the features.  

The car was cute!  I mentioned that I would have loved to see a more sleek body design, maybe something comparable to the Hyundai line up.  When I sat down inside I honestly was surprised by the amount of room I had.  At no point did I feel cramped.  I kept having visions of me looking like that Simpsons’ character.

Image result for tall man in little car simpsons

I zipped around in Mitsy….Oh yea. I named her Mitsy.  I showed her off to my family.  They were shocked by the size, but they all agreed it was nice on the inside.  

Aside from the missing middle arm console, I got used to the car relatively fast.  

Speaking of fast, this car will not take you from 0 to 60 in 1.8 seconds.  This car only has a 3 cylinder engine, so for me that was an adjustment from my car.  Once I adjusted to the fact that I couldn’t just dart out into traffic, I did like how it handled while I reached my desired speed.  It was actually pretty zippy on the highway.  

The infotainment center was pretty nice.  It has a 6.5″ touch screen and can connect your Apple or Android phone for extra features.  I used my Android phone to link up to Pandora and Google Maps. It was pretty cool.  The sound system was also great!  

On Halloween we hooked up my phone to YouTube, and played scary music as trick or treaters came to our door.   It was hilarious.  People thought someone was going to jump out the car.  And the sound was VERY boastful.  It didn’t sound scratchy.  It was a truly rich sound. 

 

This model also came equipped with a rear view camera and heated front seats.

There are a ton of other features on the car, and for a more comprehensive write up of car, I’d suggest you visit their website: Mitsubishi Mirage

Overall, I’d consider this as a vehicle for my oldest daughter.  But I’m definitely open to other small cars.  This will be a long process for our family.   Any suggestions on good small cars?

Check out my two YouTube videos: