Dec 31, 2015

"10 Items to Include in Your Gift Bags for the Homeless"

Hello Peeps!

So I thought I would do a follow up for #50 on my bucket list, which is to hand out bags to the homeless. (to find that article, click this link:

I had a thought, if I'm going to inspire my peeps to go out and do good in the world, I'm going to have to give details and tips to make their journey safe, pleasant, and fun. So here it is, in detail. Here are 10 Items to Include in Your Gift Bags for the Homeless. 

  1. Toothbrush and Toothpaste. This is one of the items overlooked usually. Some of life's basic and daily luxuries are not given to the homeless. Never take for granted something that you do out of habit every day.
  2. Wet Wipes. These can be a life saver. Wet wipes come in handy for more than wiping off that super sticky bar-b-que sauce. They're used to clean dirty hands, face, feet and other general body parts, as well as cleaning a wound. Wet wipes, or better yet, baby wipes are a real necessity here.
  3. Hand Sanitizer. Obviously, to keep hands clean when water is not readily available.
  4. Peanuts. Peanuts are proven to be a healthy and filling snack. They also are a really good source of protein and energy.
  5. Peanut Butter Crackers. Again, the peanut butter will give a boost of energy and is a great filler and snack!
  6. Bottled water. I try to put one 20 ounce bottle of water or two 6 ounce bottles into the bag, then give an extra bottle for them to drink later or use to wash their hands and/or face.
  7. Mints. Candy is not a good idea for the bags. The more sugar in the candy, the quicker it will melt, and trust me, they will melt. Lollipops will take longer to melt, but will definitely draw ants and other pesky bugs. Also, the person you are helping likely will not have access to a dentist, so any types of taffy are (again) not a great idea..
  8. First Aid Kit. I found these bad boys in Walmart (in my town) and they're only a dollar a pop! They include band-aids, alcohol pads, burn cream, and a couple other basic necessities for a kit. You never know what nicks and cuts they may have. To prevent infection, drop one of these in their kit and they'll appreciate it
  9. Chips. Because what American does not love chips! Snacks=Nom nom!
  10. Inspirational Scripture/Quote. I personally like to put a scripture in the bags basically letting them know that they are loved. I don't want to be preachy, I just want them to have something to look at, read, and remember that they are in the thoughts of a complete stranger. 
As a side note, be sure to check with you state's laws. Some states prohibit donating food to the homeless. In North Carolina, for example, you can be fined and jailed. I'm not sure why, it's really sad, but be careful!

I hope this inspires you to do good in your community. Did I miss anything? Let me know below. Feel free to comment as well!

Be inspired, Peeps!

Find my teachers and thank them

When I was growing up, the times were completely different. Children respected their elders, played outside until the sun went down, and the worst thing you could do to a child was to make them come inside for a time out. There were no cell phones, tablets, or other gadgets. There was fun and sun and really great teachers.

The best teachers that I was blessed with came early in my life. They were all women and they really cared about their 'kids'. You see, we were their 'kids', not students. Students only learn, but when you have children/kids, you teach them, discipline them, and take care of them. I looked at my teachers, not as teachers, but as mothers. And that's why I never forgot mine, well, the good ones anyway.

That's what this post is dedicated to today. I made a list of my teachers and I am currently reaching out to them, and letting them know how much they meant to me. How they helped make me the woman I am today and kept me out of trouble. I am so thankful for these women.

So the question goes to you now. Do you remember a really great teacher? What grade did they teach? What do you remember most about them? I encourage you to search out and find them and thank them. Greatness needs to be appreciated.

Stay excellent, Peeps!

A Reminder to Remain Positive

Dec 28, 2015

Items from Bucket Lists Past!

They say "Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things." Well, looking back, I see a lot of things I accomplished. Making these yearly bucket lists has really opened me up to trying new things. I have tried foods that I once sneered at, I have wandered into places where I met people I would never forget, and I have learned valuable life lessons that have molded me into a better woman. 

So, I have decided to share some of my best and most favorite memories over the past years. 

2011- Go to a Concert

This was so much fun! I went to a great concert in Atlanta. It featured great artists like Tye Tribbett, KiKi Sheard, Mary Mary and Jonathan Nelson! They sang all of their gospel hits, which happened to be my favorites! I went solo, but it wasn't the first solo trip I made and would NOT be the last! Unfortunately, I was on a ridiculously tight time schedule , so I couldn't stay as long as I wanted, but that's okay. It won't be the only concert I go to, it certainly was a great experience! 

I'm planning on seeing Pentatonix in 2016! Do you have any ideas of another group? I'm open to suggestions!

2011 - Write Something and Have it Published

So, you may or may not know this, but I am a huge fan of Sex and the City. Carrie is not my favorite character, but she is a bit of a role model of mine! In the television show, Carrie is a writer. I knew I wouldn't be an overnight success, but I did want to have something published. So I did some volunteer work with the NAACP, interviewed a family and wrote up an article. Then, I turned it in to our local newspaper and crossed my fingers! The article was published and got rave reviews! It was super exciting! So, the lesson learned was this: There's no limit to what you can accomplish when you get out there and try! I never thought that I would get this one done! 

2013 - Volunteer at an animal shelter

I met Susan Hayley through a mutual (and artsy) friend. I heard that she ran her own animal shelter from her home, but when I went to see it, I had no idea it was so large. She had a place for puppies, mama dogs and their puppies, sick dogs, and unsocial dogs. They were all so organized (but in a comfy way). All of these sweet animals at some point were abandoned and/or abused. It definitely made me look at animals in a differently. We've all had a pet at some point of our lives, whether it's a dog, cat, or whatever. We forget about the animals with no home, no family, no one. That's one of the reasons why I adopted my little Miles.

Animals, in a way, are like good people. They come in and become an extended part of our lives and make us better.

2015 - Help feed the homeless here in America

I was shocked when I read in an article that some 16 million children go hungry every year in the US. I have to admit in the past, when the topic of starving children came up, I thought of some war torn country or some place hit by a natural disaster or famine. Not here in the US; in the land of the free and plenty and home of the excess. I fast from time to time and it's not always pleasant. Having 28 nieces and nephews, I could never imagine them going hungry. So I went out and bought food for my project. Armed with food and best friend in tow, we went to the local shelter, then to the community to hand out bags to the homeless individually. Their faces and expresses were priceless! :) I recommend everyone to try this one... immediately! But make sure you do a little research. In some states, you can be fined and even JAILED for providing food to the homeless. (Check out North Carolina if you doubt this) I gotta say, it was pretty awesome

So there you have it. I have a blast with every item on my list, but here are a few of my favorites! There's more to come, so stay tuned peeps! Which of these are your favorites? Any recommendations or ideas on what I should do next? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below!

Stay inspired, Peeps!

Dec 22, 2015

Notes to my 25 Year Old Self

I think the most defining moments in my life occurred in my twenties, but the biggest milestones were at 25.

I got my first apartment (I was 24 about to turn 25) and I was really settled in at 25. I had this amazing walk in closet. I had a two bedroom flat and no roommate, so I turned the extra room into a walk in. It. Was. Amazing. I made a bench to sit on to try on the 8 million pairs of shoes I had (not really 8 million). It was truly an awesome space.

The second was by far the most important. I lost my virginity. Most young people today don't consider this a big deal and they just do it. I did. I was proud of the fact that I was a virgin at 24. Most looked at me like I was a freak, I loved this. I was saving myself for someone important. Until I didn't. I met a guy at work. He was handsome and funny. He was also pretty quiet like myself. We got to know some things about each other and seemed like we were two peas in a pod. He was single, I was single, and I thought that by telling him that I was a virgin and wanted to give myself to him, he would somehow fall in love with me and be devoted to me forever. Um, no. Now I won't say the experience was bad. It truly wasn't. It was pretty nice. But to quote Sylvie from the movie The Women, "... there's no sex like the kind you have with someone you love who loves you back." He, turns out, did not love me back. Looking back on it now, I don't even think he liked me that much. I continued to sleep with him over the next 2 years. I took a vow of celibacy for the next 5 years. It took so many years of soul searching and finding myself, until I was finally able to love myself. In loving myself, I killed that blind love I had for him and grew to be a better person.

One of my favorite television shows is Sex and the City. Those girls are waay more outgoing and experimental than I am, but at the end of the show, they leave you with some thought provoking quotes. Like Miranda says, "Relationships are not about playing games. They're about mature and honest communication." Once I found myself done with the 'will he, or won't he ever love me' games, I could see more clearly and once you can see the problem clearly, the solution is clear as well.

I know I can't change the past, but I have certainly learned from it. Self love is the greatest love you can have. Without it, it is impossible to love anyone or anything else.

Stay excellent, peeps!

Dec 10, 2015

2016 Resolutions... To Do or Not to Do?

Supposedly, the act of making a new year's resolution began some 2000 years ago in Rome. They made resolutions which included good moral behavior. Wow, 2000 years. It was then like it is now; the resolutions included good will towards others, commitments to better use their talents, and avoiding habitual sins.

I honestly didn't make many resolutions at the beginning of this year. I mean, I planned to do things like: start eating healthier (which I kind of did), stop biting my nails (which I failed miserably at), and go to bed at a reasonable hour (which I don't even want to lie to you about). But for the most part, my bucket list was the closest thing to a resolution that I came to. I am 32 years old and, by now, my fixer uppers have become permanent flaws and my need to change items have become characteristics of who I am. I'm a lot less dramatic and spazzy. Entering into that 30+ block has given me a very interesting outlook on certain things.

I think I'm going to take the same approach this year coming. No resolutions to be anything other than myself. A better me, maybe, but me nonetheless. Definitely have to stop biting my nails, though.

I did add some things to my bucket list though. More out there things! I have to start traveling again, and not just to the next state. The last time I took a long journey was in 2004 when I went to Korea (awesome. freakin'. time!) You can find that post on this link:

So, what are your resolutions for the new year? Are you going to make any? Comment below! And, as always, stay awesome Peeps!

Dec 9, 2015

#102 - Adopt a kitty

You may not know this about me, but I am a total cat person. I love that they are really quiet, kind and loyal friends. In fact, June is considered "Adopt a Kitty" month by the Humane Society.

I found Carmen among other kittens and older cats in Petsmart. It wasn't love at first sight, but turns out, it was love. Her sweet and quiet demeanor quickly won me over. Snuggling into my arms for a short rest sealed the deal. So I bought the basic cat necessities (see my post called "Needful Things for Bringing Home Baby (Cat That is!") and we headed back to the house.

It's been really something having her here. It's almost like having a baby in the house. The 2 am wake up needing to be fed or held or wanting to play. It's not bad, though. She is a very fun and very necessary distraction a times. And she's not loud and barky like dogs can be. So far, it's pretty awesome!

So, peeps, how do you feel about pets? Do you love cats or dogs? Comment below and thanks!
Stay excellent!


Dec 7, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness: Caught on Camera

Hello again, my peeps!

Every had someone open a door for you? Ever watched someone open the door for an elderly lady or help her across the street? Feels good, right? No, it doesn't. It feels grand. When you help someone, you are also helping yourself. How does this help? I'm glad you asked! Helping others makes you happy and happiness is linked to lowering stress, blood pressure, and it can help ward off cardio vascular disease. And that's just the physical stuff! Giving back gives you a mental boost that enhances creativity and energy. And who doesn't love good karma!

All in all, when you give back to others, you help yourself. Here is a great video showing people giving random acts of kindness. I love this video and I watch it often. I hope it blesses you as much as it does me every time I watch it.

Have you ever witnessed a random act of kindness? Have you ever shown a random act of kindness? Feel free to tell your story below!

Stay awesome, Peeps!

Swim in the Atlantic Ocean

Hello Peeps! I haven't posted anything recently because I became very ill. Not sure what happened, but I became very sick on Friday and I'm just beginning to recuperate.

That being said, On to the good stuff! I didn't put this one on the list, but I think it deserves an honorable mention. "Swim in the Atlantic Ocean". I lived in Wilmington for almost 2 years and went to the beach more times than I can count and always had a blast. In my microscopic town of Eufaula, we barely had what you could call a lake, not to mention an actual beach. And I'm a southern girl, so having moved to the city, I went to the beach often to satisfy my need to have sand under my bare feet. They were very happy times, though. I would get off my highly stressful job and head to the beach and, often, would spend the day there. It's definitely therapeutic!

How do you unwind from a stressful day at work? Day at the beach? Comment below and enjoy the pics.

Stay happy, Peeps!

Dec 2, 2015

"Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues!"

That's a quote from one of me and my family's favorite movies, Adventures in Babysitting. If you have not seen it,  recommend you go out immediately and find it! Of course, it was released in the 80s, so you may have better luck on Amazon.

Blues is one of my favorite types of music because I can always relate to it. Love is a very powerful emotion and I feel deeply for the person I may be in the relationship. Most people can relate to the lyrics in blues.

Here I have a short video of my favorite street musician in North Carolina! This guy is an awesome blues musician and I would pass him every time there was a festival of some sort going on downtown. He's a sweetheart from Chicago (where I was born!) and I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do.

Peace and love, Peeps!