Possibilities are you’ve heard the beauty term toner around when people discuss their skin care programs. Perhaps it’s even part of your regimen, however you’re not quite sure how it works. Toners have triggered a lot of confusion in the beauty world, however they’ve just recently gotten Lady and Beard and are back in the skin regular game.

Older generation toners included drying alcohol that would remove the pores of its natural oils, however the new items have nixed the alcohol and consist of nourishing components that work to hydrate and rebalance the skin. While its alcoholic days lag it, the question still stays, just what is a toner?

Really, what is a toner?

Toner resembles water however loaded with more hydrogen and oxygen particles. It can also be loaded with other advantageous components like tea tree, increased, salicylic acid, and other skin care fundamentals, depending upon your needs.

Advantages of Toner

Among the virtues of toner is that it can lessen the look of pores. It also stabilizes the skin’s pH levels, bring back an acidic state so that skin is cleansed and much better able to take in wetness and other helpful active ingredients from serums and creams used after.

How do you use a toner?

To use toner, you can fill a cotton pad and use the toner, or mist the toner straight onto skim. It is best to enable the skin to breathe for a couple of seconds after cleaning then use. When the skin is damp, it can soak up active ingredients much better, providing nutrition deeper into the skin.

When should you use toner?

You can consist of toner in your early morning and night regimens. If you are exfoliating or utilizing an extremely drying toner, it’s best to use it every other day and slowly boost use as you construct a tolerance.

Toner was originally developed to stabilize the pH of the skin after cleaning, and was an essential action because many cleansers removed the skin, leaving it out of balance. Nowadays, cleansers have proceeded. Skin care brands are smarter to what the skin needs, so they develop cleansers with active components that do not need the second action of a toner. Toners needed to step up to meet different functions once that 2 action technique was erupted as unneeded. They began being offered as a simple way to double clean, removing any recurring makeup or dirt still left on the skin after cleaning.

Anything removing on the skin offers short-term impacts, making the skin less oily, tighter, and feel smoother, which can seem like a blessing for acne-prone types.

The Alternatives

There are other items that do comparable jobs as toners. Micellar water is developed particularly as a second cleaning action to remove any recurring makeup, dirt, or gunk. Facial mists are an easy way to refresh skin by hydrating and diminishing the look of pores in an instant. Typically, both of these kinds of items are instilled with hydrating, nourishing components much like toners.

The modern-day application of facial toner is spray. Spray facial toners are hassle-free to bring anywhere and supply ease of application. The Italian green mandarin with sweet lime might relieve your skin particularly after a difficult activity. Spray it on when you sweat and provide your skin a little convenience particularly when you are taking a trip.

The appropriate application of skin toners is essential to avoid developing of wrinkles. Put a percentage of your water-based toner on a cotton ball. Carefully use on face utilizing a circular motion. Start the application at your upper neck and after that move up to your forehead utilizing extremely mild light pressure.

Anti aging care toners make your skin feel tighter, work to clarify your skin, and tone your skin after cleaning. They are mainly comprised of water to make your face feel much better hydrated after cleaning. You can not make toners as replacements for moisturizers. The tightening up sensation you experience is an outcome of the alcohol found in most toners. If you pick a toner, attempt to think about taking a look at the components and keep away from those including SD, ethyl, or isopropyl alcohol.

Conclusion

If you already use one or both of these, you can most likely avoid toner– that is, unless you love a regular with all the actions, because skin care is in fact so indulgent.

toddler bed rails

Every parent will be happy, when their little one finally moves into his or her big kid bed to enjoy the new freedom and exciting activities such as jumping up and down. They are very conscious about the overall safety and comfort level of their baby in the bed. They can focus on the best toddler bed rails in detail and make positive changes in their approach for buying the suitable toddler bed rails. They understand that bed rails are very important along with the cozy blankets and super adorable sheets. This is because rails on the toddler’s bed only protect the toddler throughout the sleep time.

The latest collection of bed rails on online

Though the baby is safe when he or she is in a crib, every baby needs rails when they go to their own toddler bed to sleep. This rail on the toddler’s bed keeps the toddler snugs in the bed and preventing himself from falling out. As a parent with a desire to improve your baby’s safety while sleeping, you can prefer and invest in the high-quality rails designed to keep toddler contained in the new bed. Any baby can climb out of the bed when he or she is between 18 and 24 months. It is the suitable time to introduce the suitable bed for your toddler and double-check the safety of your toddler while sleeping on the bed.

Every toddler is a wild sleeper beyond doubt. They do various interesting things like acrobatics while sleeping. They require the best things to protect them during the sleep. Parents of these toddlers can read honest reviews of successful brands of toddler bedrails one after another. They can keep up-to-date with the high-quality yet reasonable prices of toddler bed rails designed and manufactured by leading companies in this sector. If they discuss with specialists in this industry, then they can clarify their doubts and narrow down a huge collection of toddler bed rails as expected. They save both time and money when they successfully choose and invest in bed rails for their toddler.

Prefer and buy high-quality bed rails

High-quality bed rails support your toddlers to stop possibilities of night time falls. It is the right time to use the best suggestions for comparing the best toddler bed rails based on important factors like brand, cost, quality, durability and user-friendliness. In a crib, a baby can roll around as per his wishes. However, the toddler in the bed is eager to do some interesting things such as jumping up and down. Toddler bed rails are suitable for protecting the toddler from possibilities to fall out of the bed. You can spend enough time to purchase and install the best-in-class nature of rails on your toddler’s bed. You will get 100% satisfaction as this bed rail provides the safety barrier to the toddler’s bed and peace of mind while sleeping.

toddler bed rails

Swing down toddler rail is one of the popular types of toddler bed rails on the market at this time. This rail is locked into the upright position and used to form the protective barrier for the toddler. Fixed toddler bed rail looks like the swing down one. However, this product cannot be fold down. The gap in this rail assists your toddler to clip through and not big enough to fall while sleeping. A bumper toddler bed rail sits underneath the sheet on the bed. This product looks like the speed hump. This rail can be easily installed as it held in place by the sheet. Many parents use and recommend this portable toddler bed rail.

Consider the important things

You may be a beginner to the bed rail shopping and think about how to be successful in your approach for the bed rail shopping. You can take note of some important things before exploring the latest collection of bed rails on the market. For example, you have to measure the bed and mattress of your toddler at first. This is worthwhile to look for the overall bed suitability, gaps may be traps, the option to fold down the rail, material, cost, brand, quality and user-friendliness. You have to focus on your child’s movements while sleeping and how to successfully place the rail on the toddler’s bed.

Dandruff that is in curly hair is not easy to treat. One day, you wake up and notice you have more flakes in head then a cotton candy stick. Its everywhere on your head. You scratch it from the left and right. Think it goes away after a few more minutes of scratching. However, you realize its still lodged in there weeks later. Next, you wash hair shampoo daily and hope it goes away next month. But, its still there stuck in your curly hair. So, how do you get rid of something not wanting to leave like dandruff? You use special techniques to make it leave. More info on these techniques below.

dandruff shampoo for curly hair

Understand Dandruff

In order to deal with dandruff the best, you must know what dandruff is. Dandruff is bacteria and a hair disease that makes your hair have white spots for the most part. But, if you were to look at it a little bit closer, you would know that dandruff is something else. Truly, its the dead skin that sheds from your scalp. Dead skin falls off your scalp daily to help the cells regenerate and become stronger for body. After the process, dead skin mixes in with your curly hair. This causes dandruff to form around your head. Now, you fully know what dandruff is now. Consider using the best dandruff shampoo for curly hair to help eliminate dandruff fast.

Because dandruff comes from dead skin, you should be aware it can come back. It might not be next month. But, there is a chance it will come back to your hair in the next 6 months or so. To prepare, buy yourself dandruff shampoo for later and store it in the cabinet. When the dandruff comes back to give you another challenge, you will be there with your fully eraser dandruff shampoo that can make it run.

Wash Dandruff Hair With Dandruff Shampoo

Above all, wash your dandruff hair with dandruff shampoo. Washing your hair with regular shampoo would not be enough. Regular shampoo is not equipped with the right minerals and extracts to clean every flake in your hair. You might be able to get the size of the dandruff to a lower level. But, you will not be able to fully get rid of dandruff. Small pieces of it will be there. It might be lighter and make it harder for you to see. But, you will see it there if you take time to look deeper and focus your eyes. Wash with the best dandruff shampoo for curly hair to separate all flakes from your scalp and hair.

And, dandruff shampoo does a good job in removing excess oil build up. Oil builds up a lot during the summer seasons. Too much oil can cause hair to become stiffer and harder. You don’t want that on your hair.  Hair becomes very stuck and starts to smell worse. Allow it to continue, you will find hair looking like the homeless you guy you saw on the side walk. Everyone will secretly talk about it. Does not look good in the photo shoot either. Keep the oil building up in your hair down by using dandruff shampoo made to keep it out.

Apply Aloe Vera to Scalp

Putting aloe vera on your head is a good way to treat dandruff. Aloe vera is a plant that has many natural minerals that can make your hair better. Uniquely, plant is used with many beauty products designed to clean and help hair growth. In truth, there is nothing wrong aloe vera can do for your body. Though it has a light odor smell, you can use it by cutting it open and spreading it on hair. Inside plant, you will see a green liquid. Do not be alarmed. It is perfectly fine and is cold gel mostly. The way it feels at first is a little weird. It takes a little to get used to. Give it the time and you will see your hair develop stronger, cleaner, healthier, and dandruff free.

My sister use to always use 20-minute skincare for her face and I thought she was overdoing it, but maybe I was the one that was misjudging. My sister currently looks amazing. Her face glows like the meadow river in the night. She looks very healthy and so clear in the face. Her routing was not a waste of time. I like the way she does things and I would like to tell you more about what face wash is. Maybe it will help you become healthier in the face and make people see a younger you.

Why You Need Face Wash Products

The world is a dirty place. Chemicals pass by you all the time. Unknowingly, you walk through dirt each day and think about daily tasks.  Think about how awful that is. Make sure you have the best Korean face wash for dry skin or face wash for each week. Clean the face week to week and get rid of all the chemicals that can potentially cause your face to look older. Thousands and thousands of nasty air chemicals that you need to get rid of.

Let’s say you don’t go outside much, you still have to worry about the natural dirty oil your body produce by itself. Yes, there is a sebum oil that the body produces naturally. Its not a problem at first. However, it can become a problem after weeks and months of unattending. The normal soap you use each day is not enough. Face wash product is the only way to make your face cleaner and dirty chemical free.

Each Face Wash Cleaner Fits a Skin Type

Many face wash exist int eh world, but their made for different skin types. People all around the world have skin types that are dry, oily, and a mix of both. I will give a more detailed explanation below.

People with dry skin need to use oil based cleaner and heavy face cream. These people have dry skin because they do not drink enough water. Sometimes, they are just genetically born with dry skin. The skin tends to get more dry in the winter. Because of this, it is wise to use this type of face cream for your face if you have dry skin. I wouldn’t recommend anything else because dry skin is dry skin. Purchase the best Korean face wash for dry skin to have better results.

Some of us have oily skin and you should use oil free foam cleanser. Write that down if you forget. Oily skin is a little tricky. You must use this to get rid of the acne on your face. Also, use if you want to look like one of the pretty girls at the lunch table.

People With Sensitive Skin Should Use This Method

People who have sensitive skin should look for face wash that has little ingredients and free of certain ingredients. Alcohol and fragrance ingredients is a huge no. Make sure the product you get does not have alcohol in it and fragrance smell. The natural stuff that does not smell is the way. With this intention, you should also avoid products that cause you irritations. Its tough to say what works best for people with sensitive skin. Sensitive skin people are the same. I can tell you, you can use tea like face wash products and you will be mostly fine. Doctors claim most people who use tea face wash products turn out better.

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When you’re blogging, how much do you suffer through in the attempt to tell the truth?  How much do you reveal to people?

As a writer, who blogs about her life, I’m often at odds with how much I can actually tell, what I can actually share.  It’s one of those conundrums where we reach an intersection of the “let me maintain some privacy and not embarrass my family and friends” x “I feel trapped because I can’t share these things that happened.”

I mean, I could talk about the dates I’d gone on some years ago, past relationships. Most of that stuff has expired. The situations that didn’t work out and why.  I can talk about the things that happened in my twenties.  But what happens when I want to tell the story of a date that failed – recently?  Honestly, some of the best blog moments and juiciest tidbits have happened in the last few of years. It’s when life became even MORE interesting and fabulous.

What about working through some current personal issue and how complicated it is? I find there is really only space for that sort of cathartic writing – in a journal.  The one that will only be published after I’m dead.

I met a man on the train sometime last summer.  He lives around where I live, a few blocks actually.  Handsome, tall. We stared at each other on the platform for a while.  When the train came, I sat in the second seat from the one open to the aisle.  He sat in front of me.  I knew him.  But you know, DC is small.  Small small.  If you start going out, attending events, go out long enough, it shrinks.

Within a few minutes as the train went from in the darkness of the tunnels across the Anacostia River, we were talking and exchanging the usual pleasantries.  I found out he was best friends with someone I went to high school with in Alabama.  Mind you we’re in DC.  I realize he knows a lot of the same people I know.  There was a moment of hesitation because you’re guaranteed that he will ask this person about who you are…and I wasn’t the girl who was popular in high school.  I mean I was there.  I had friends, I was present.  But I wasn’t part of the “in” crowd. College and a stint of sitting out of college led to many nights out between Birmingham, Huntsville and Atlanta.  Also small.  It all shrinks.  But still… sometimes you still wonder how you were perceived then.  How you’re perceived now even. By now, because we know the same people, there’s still some kindred.

When I gave him my card, there was a hesitation.  ”Oh, you’re a blogger.” He quipped.  I asked what do you mean by that? He said “well, I hate bloggers.  They never have anything good to say.”

And there it was.  It’s not the first time I’ve heard this come from someone’s mouth.  It won’t be the last.  It’s the bloggers who have no concern for what they write and who or how they write about the person or the event. [see certain articles about certain bloggers who have recently been in the news]

But the damage was already done.  We talked for a bit longer and but you could tell he would be reluctant to say anything else to me.  It’s unfortunate.  I never did speak with him again.  I figured I’d see him around in the neighborhood.  Most who know me, come here to read the blog know I’m against embarrassing people.  I know how it feels to have the rug pulled out from under you.  I don’t ever want to be the “blogger” or the woman people don’t want to be around for fear that your story, something you said to me in confidence will end up on the web.

I’m of the rule, that if you upset me, I will most definitely write about it.  It just won’t reach daylight for the eyes of others.  I also may just use it in a short story or novel somewhere changing a few parts.  Maybe that’s not fair – but no one will ever know who the person of offense was.

One of the tenets I go by is if I want to tell someone else’s story on here, I speak with them about it first.  If it’s OUR story together, then I also try to make it plain it’s from my point of view. Which means there will always be some bias because it’s mine.

More days than I’d like to admit, I suffer and struggle, teetering on the edge of what I should tell and what I shouldn’t.  What I should discuss and what I shouldn’t.  What if such and such reads this?  What if my father decides he wants to Google me today and comes across this specific post?  More of it is am I ready to stand with what I’m publishing here on the blog today?  I realize, even as a blogger, I’m one who chooses to protect others.

Mostly, I ask myself – what am I trying to accomplish?  What do I accomplish by speaking negatively about someone or an event?  What would be the point in that?  What impression am I trying to leave with others?  While I can’t control how people view me, I know I have full control of what I release and put out into the Universe and onto the net.  Anytime I press publish or schedule a post, I am fully aware of what I’m doing.

It doesn’t mean I can’t speak about difficult subjects or topics.  It doesn’t mean I can’t talk about others.  But when I know them, there’s a process.  If I don’t know them, I try to take a full view of the situation.

I also realize, no matter how well-intentioned some posts are, there are people who misconstrue and warp what I’m trying to say.  People who will say “that’s not true!” Or people who will say “this doesn’t seem right.”

It’s not my job to control interpretation.  It’s my job to write.  It’s my job to be fair, to inspire and to encourage.

If my friend from the train, many months ago reads this, just know I heard you.  I want other bloggers to hear you too.

IMG_0760-1024x682

In this photo above are you focused on the branch or the sunset?  Yup – hard to decide isn’t it?  That’s how it feels when you’re writing and trying to avoid distractions.  Some days I’m not sure what’s easiest to focus on. The branch, the sunset or the branch against the sunset.

I, Rae, the owner of this blog should be writing at this time.  I am – technically. I’m writing this post.  In the midst of making coffee, I realized I might be avoiding the obvious. Actually sitting down and writing.  When I heard the amazing Berniece McFadden talk about her ways of avoiding sitting in the chair and writing in 2012, I didn’t feel as alone anymore.  Here I was thinking I was fearful and lazy (when it comes to writing anyway).  Come to find out, that’s not really the case.  It’s something most writers do.  I’m not sure if painters, sculptors and the like do it as well, but I can see where depending on the art, the avoidance may be different.

I thought I would take a moment to talk about it.

The Avoidance Tactics

Writing this Blog Post

Listen, when I can’t sit and write stories – which seems to be an issue at this time, then I just end up here on the blog and jot a few notes down.  However, it can be a time suck because the MOMENT the publish button hits, then most of us are looking to see if there are any views, feedback, comments, etc.

Feeding the Birds

I sat here for a good while and watched the birds as I put out food for them. I have a lot of blue jays that appear here.  Who would’ve figured back here in the hood? But the way the trees are on my side of the building it seems to be an area, the birds, cats, possums and whatever else happens to enjoy.

Taking Photos

While this isn’t a futile endeavor, I keep staring out the window at this shot I want to take of the raindrops on the tree.  Then I devise that I might want to use various lenses.  Then the tripod comes out.  Tuh!  You get the idea. Note: that’s not to say I won’t stop and take the photo if I need to.  I realized the other week when @socamom and I were out shooting still shots in the city, it’s important to get the photo when you see it.  The light, that moment, that thing may not be there again. I’ll also add, the photos are the most productive distraction to date.  I still got that photo though.  I just snapped.  Through the window.  See how pretty and sparkly the rain drops are? You’d be distracted too.

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Cleaning | Cooking | Domestic Behavior

I went into the kitchen, made coffee and started the dishwasher.  But somehow, as I looked around I was thinking to myself – I should clean the table off.  As I type this, the table is yelling at me from behind.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  Or the laundry.  Or how I want to re-arrange the books then go and take my closet apart and re-arrange it too. Or I start looking at recipes.  Which could then result in me going to the grocery store.

The Innanet | “Research” | Social Media

Listen. I can sit and do “research” for days.  Can’t most of us?  I’m not immune to it.  But it’s some bullshit sometimes.  Then as I wanted to start a story, I found myself thumbing through my Kindle wondering how other authors started their books.  I’m obsessed with the first pages of novels.

Comparison

The moment I start looking at stats, looking at sales, looking at hits.  Yeah.  It can bring me to that moment of wanting to believe I’m not good enough. Which then leads to the proverbial ‘fuck it.’  I work hard not to compare.  But every now and again, it’s difficult not to do.

The Solutions

No Social Media | Electronic Communication

I can’t tweet, email or do anything while I’m writing.  I need to sit here for a few hours and comb through my stuff.  Or comb through all of the snippets of unfinished stories I’ve already written. Some are stuffed in email (many) so I’m allowed to go through my drafts folder.

Alerting Others

I tell everyone I’m writing.  Basically in Rae-speak that means – I’m not available.  Unless you’re dying – or someone we know and love is dying – please leave me alone until I come up for air. Writers need an extraordinary amount of solitude.  I also have loved ones who will check in and ask me if I’m writing or working, how many words I wrote today.  You know. Basically a writing overseer.  What?  It really keeps me honest.

Reading

There are approved forms of reading material.  For me this may be starting a new novel or reading a short story.  It may mean going back to a previously read novel to re-read something that inspired me.  Sometimes, the reading is more of a case study than it is an escape. You may just need to look at how someone else did it just to find your voice.  That’s ok too.  I read a lot of content on other writers, publishing, etc.  Those are productive for me.

No TV

I have banned myself from turning on the tv and trying to write.  I’m one of the people who can write with music (a pre-designed playlist) or I can write in silence.  But TV?  Nope.  I’m guaranteed to be off watching it for hours.

Writing this Post

I’m about to sound like a hypocrite but, well, you know…. listen.  I wrote.  This post is currently 900 words.  Give or take.  I got some writing done.  I identified where I’m having issues.   That being said, I feel like I did something I was supposed to do.

What are your avoidance behaviors?  How do you fix them?

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It’s important to plan the year ahead.  While I’m not the kind of girl who has every day planned out to a tee (it would drive me crazy), that’s not to say I don’t believe in the value of long term planning ….

What I’ve come to realize is as the years pass, they also happen to speed up.  They’re moving faster.  There’s so much I didn’t document over the years.  In some ways it might’ve been better that I didn’t.  But these days, I want to capture these moments, the beauty and the love I encounter.  I feel a sense of urgency to document things in a way I haven’t in the past years.

Maybe it’s because I’m headed for my 39th year in 2014 – and then on to countdown to 40! I’m less concerned about how people perceive me.  And well, Sir Anthony Hopkins said it best, “My philosophy is its none of my business what people say of me and think of me.  I am what I am and I do what I do.  I expect nothing and accept everything.  And it makes life so much easier.”

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.  But as I mentioned above, time starts to move faster. Before you know it, five years have passed and you haven’t done anything you wanted to do. That stops.  We waste so much time without direction.  I need rules and order or my creative self just floats.  As a result, I work better with promises to myself and goals.

Goal 1: Face my fears

This may seem like common sense.  However, all of us have things we’re afraid to do or tackle. This is a year I’m planning to tackle some key fears.  For me this involves a few things – but one the top of my list is money and how I manage it and handle it.  Why is money always such a touchy subject?  Well, when I get a handle on it, I’m going to blog about it.  There’s much to be said for budgeting, the way we work, the way we choose to manage our money and even what we spend money on.

Goal 2: Be on time

Listen, I used to run late to everything.  I don’t anymore.  But now, being on time means trying to be early when it’s at all possible.  I’ve seen a couple of posts about it from @myleik of curlbox and a post from Sincerely Daja where she speaks about how she’s on time everywhere she goes even though she doesn’t have a car.  Man, that got me together.  I need to be on time. I need to make sure I’m there early.  Woody Allen says “80% of success is showing up” – that being the case, for me it means I need to show up early.

Goal 3: Set up a schedule

To set up a schedule for the blog and work to maintain it.  With work, life, other commitments, I tend not to write here as often as I should.  Also, while having a personal blog is cathartic and all, sometimes it’s difficult to discuss what’s happening in my life.  Mostly because well, I haven’t wrapped my mind around it yet.  I don’t like blogging in real time, so I long ago imposed a statute of limitations on telling certain stories.  I digress.  Blog calendar.

Goal 4: Publish my first book

I decided a while back I would turn some of the best content from the blog into a book. Believe it or not, I’ve heard a few times “don’t do that,” but as I asked around and asked respected authors – the collective response was, why wouldn’t you use that material? My gut tells me to use this here good material and dammit I’m going to do it! Editing has been tough but I think it’s that more discipline is required.

Goal 5: Take and publish photos, show my view of the world

A friend of mine once told me my pictures were amazing.  I took him at his word because he said it to my face and he had no reason to lie.  He then told me that because I’m creative, writing isn’t the only way to tell my story, or anyone else’s.  He told me to “write with my camera.”  I bought myself an amazing Canon DSLR T3i so I will be bombarding the site with photos and my perspective of the world.  You will deal.

Goal 6: Stop doing things that don’t excite me | Cease the distractions | Get this work

I am a great supporter.  I tend not to say no very often.  But when I do, it’s really a hard NO.  I need to say no – more often.  I need to work on my own projects more in 2014.  I realize I was jumping at other projects in order to distract myself from being responsible for my own.  That’s wise right?  Deflection at its finest.  ”I didn’t get ______ done because I was sooooooo busy| tied up |stressed out working on ________.”  As I say to myself to literally shut up and sit down and get this work done.

Note: I rearranged my house a few days ago to accommodate and encourage me to sit my arse down and get this writing done. Inviting x pretty spaces = completed writing assignments. I didn’t buy anything new but candles. I just rearranged what I have.

Goal 7: Attend a literary workshop

I’ve said this over the last few years. Believe it or not, I got into one late 2012  (to attend for 2013) and couldn’t work all of the logistics out (logistics in this case = money).  This year?  I’m back with a vengeance and applying again and hopefully attending with bells on and in cute clothes.  The blog is incredibly important to me.  All of my writing and the ability to share it is important.  In addition to the blog, I write short fiction and need to make sure eventually the short fiction turns into a stellar collection for you to read.

Goal 8: Fill out the entire Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook by Susannah Conway and fill up my vision board.

In my last post, reflecting on a few lessons I learned in 2013 I talked about how I was afraid to fill out 2013′s workbook in 2012.  I’m not for it this year – refer back to No. 1 in this post. It’s a great way to review the year and then to plan the next year.  If you want a great way to reflect and to plan – work through this.… get a glass bottle of wine and pray before you do.  With that, I need to work on making sure my vision board is full this year.  Last year, I bought it and put a few things on there – this year? IT NEEDS TO BE FULL AND SPECIFIC!

Goal 9: Quit my part-time job and make my writing my official gig.

This isn’t that big of a deal.  But it is.  I have been working some form of a part-time job for as long as I can remember.  There was a time I didn’t.  Then somehow, in 2007 I got sucked back into the vortex that is part-time work.  My father told me not to rely on that money.  Somehow, I got used to it.  But you know, I’ve worked every Saturday (less about five) over the last few years.  I wanted my Saturdays back.  I wanted to write on those days.  I wanted consecutive days off.  So last week, I quit.  While I can’t recommend this for everyone, I know I needed to be able to focus.  I wanted to keep the promise to myself that I wouldn’t carry the job into 2014. So I did.  I can’t say I won’t miss the money, but it will force me to work harder and make sure my creative efforts are a success.

These are just a few of the goals I’ve set for the year.  I have many more and as I knock them off the list, I’ll share more about them here. As always, if you have comments or questions, you can email me at [email protected]!  Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for updates!

What are your goals for 2014?  Have you created a vision board? Is it just me or do you find the time is passing quicker?

Hi Loves!!

How are you?  Today is my birthday aka #Raeday!!!

Bazinga!!!!

Wooooh!  I’m thankful and excited.  I love birthdays.  It’s an honor and a privilege to see them.    *cue “Never Would Have Made It by Marvin Sapp.  It also happens to be my two-year blogaversary!!!  Which I can’t really believe.  From Rae with Love, the Little Blog that Could, is two years old.  It’s been two years!  So much has happened since I first began writing From Rae With Love.   Funny enough, I’ve only shared a handful of the stories with you.

In my very first post this time two years ago, I shared some lessons I’d learned as of my 36th birthday and then I wanted to share a few thoughts I had on turning 37.  This year, I am going to do something a little bit different.  I want to share 39 things I want to do before my 39th birthday.  Not only does the number of years I’ve spent on this earth astound me, it’s also interesting to see how others handle and deal with it as well.  I’ve been watching people who are farther(further? why worry) along on their journey.  Some of them are handling the aging process better than others.   Mostly I think many of us just weren’t mentally prepared for how the time flies.  Not to mention, according to so many others and the rhetorical bullshit that spews out of someone’s mouth, as we approach 40 that’s supposed to mean we’re old? I don’t buy into it.  I never have.  Aging and growing older (and hopefully wiser) is a beautiful process.  From what I can tell, it’s about how we each choose to see it.

I have a who shitload of stuff I want to do over the next year.   They haven’t been listed in any specific order.  Each of them is critical to me and the next year.  Without further adieu, here’s the 39 x 39:

  1. Use the mixer my mother got me last year – more..which means I’ll be baking, or making pasta, or grinding meat.
  2. Create a series of You Tube Videos.
  3. Submit these short stories for publishing in literary journals.
  4. Write the short stories I mentioned in #3.
  5. Relocate.
  6. Take more photos.
  7. Lose 20% of my current bodyweight.
  8. Purchase a DSLR camera.
  9. Create a short film.
  10. Write a script for a show treatment.
  11. Tour DC with my friends and act like a tourist.  [I’m wearing the colored protective visor and Tevas and shorts and shit]
  12. Increase my income by 50% + get a new job.
  13. Eat from 30+ new restaurants (read includes dives, mom & pop stops and food trucks – that’s where the best food is)
  14. Take a series of photos worthy for a gallery exhibit.
  15. Add 1000 new followers on twitter.
  16. Create a new series of blog posts.
  17. Bake from scratch.  [I owe a series of zucchini loaves to a very close friend]
  18. Cook 25 new dishes I’ve never cooked.
  19. Purchase and successfully meal plan around a crock pot.
  20. Journal.
  21. Buy new furniture that meets my actual home-style now.
  22. Build a home theater system.
  23. Create a logo for the website.
  24. Attend a writers workshop.
  25. Research (info, interviews etc), write and publish an article or podcast for a major publication.
  26. Get a tattoo.
  27. Participate in new twitter chats.
  28. Have a conversation with a published author I admire.
  29. Publish a series of stories on Amazon.com.
  30. Be consistently happy.
  31. Be less fearful of trying new things.
  32. Publish one blog post that scares the shit out of me.
  33. Be on a major panel as a guest.
  34. Live. Like really have more to tell you so y’all can be all up in my business.
  35. Be able to achieve certain yoga poses.
  36. Write handwritten letters and notes to my close friends and family.
  37. Sew three (3) new projects and create a few new pieces of jewelry.
  38. Him.  [Redacted No. 38 about Rae’s love life]
  39. Pray more.  Hear more.  See more. Be more. Love more.  [I cheated here but IDC]

Whew!!! There it is – my 39 x 39.  Doable?  Yes.  Now let’s see how much of it I can get done effective immediately.  It’s not just about a mad rush of checking things off of a proverbial list, it’s about living and improving my quality of life.   There are also so many other things I plan to do within this next year – like buy some skates and roll around the city!!  Which brings me to my next announcement…..

I need to take a creative hiatus (aka a creative furlough, a creative retreat).

Relax.  Don’t freak out on me and get crazy.   The blog isn’t going anywhere.  I’m not really going anywhere.  I just won’t be posting for a while.  For the record, I don’t exactly know how long a while means, however, I do know it will be through the summer.

When you have a personal blog, it becomes increasingly difficult to share certain things.  Hills, valleys, good news, life changes and events and whatever else may come along means life tends to take over.  Life has taken over which means, I need to just live.  That’s what’s most important.

I’m still going to be here.  You can still find me on twitter @fromraewithlove.  I’m on twitter daily.  Otherwise, catch me on the Facebook page for the blog or if you really need to get deep, you can email me at fromraewithlove at gmail dot com.  So see, it’s not really that bad.  I can be located.  I just won’t be blogging.

So you’re wondering what am I planning to do with all of the time I don’t spend blogging?  I still plan to write.  I have a number of writing projects I need to complete.  I have new projects that are just taking off, that I can share later this week.  I’m also on the Dr. Vibe show monthly.  A few of my blogging friends and I have started a series of Google Hangouts. In other words,  I’m still here.

I know I’ve slowed down in the last months.  That’s mostly been because I am at a crossroads as a creative, as a writer and as a woman.  I’m not in a space to post everything.   I also have so many other things planned for the blog, for my life.  So basically, it’s time to live and get some things done.  Where else do all of these wonderful posts come from?  LIFE.

As the good 39 x 39 list reflects, I have a lot of work to do, a lot of living[loving] to do and quite a bit to organize, shift and put into motion.

Check in with me.  I still need want to hear from you.  I love emails and tweets.  See info above….

BTW, I’m always watching.  Trust and believe.

Mother loves you.

beingsinglequotes

I am a soon-to-be 38 year old woman.  I’m not married.  I don’t have children.

Newsflash: I want to be married and I still hope for children.   I shouldn’t necessarily have to explain all of this, but in today’s times I find myself in what I call “In defense of being alone.”

I am certain many of my married friends, the friends of friends and family members either think I LOVE being single and ergo don’t want to be married with all of the “trappings” or that  something is horribly wrong with me which is why no one has married me.

Seriously.

I don’t deny there are some things wrong with me – stop laughing – lol.   I tend to be moody although I manage better these days.  I’m somewhat set in my ways – but amenable most days.  I like things done a certain way.  I’m not fond of people who snore (although I do) and I like being able to have to have time alone.  I write.  Writers need time alone and time to create.  Time to stare out the window.  Of course this is the short list of what’s wrong with me.  There is the more exhaustive list I’m sure my exes would be all-too-happy to post and discuss.

I’m also weird sometimes.    Very sensitive, highly intuitive, a lover of ‘me’ time and not fond of loud background noise if I cannot control it.  I’m not a neat freak, but my kitchen and bathrooms all have to be really clean (thankfully you can’t see what they look like right now or you’d call me a damn liar).  I will turn around and go back home if I think I’ve left the stove or oven on.  I spend money on cheap wine and good food. There are a whole host of really weird things I love I won’t even go into today.

Some days I don’t want to be married because I understand the work it takes to make things work.  Being single has it’s benefits in I don’t have to be accountable to someone for where I am and what’s going on.  On the contrary, I am the single friend who wants her married and boo’d up friends’ relationships to survive.  I have sat for countless hours (maybe into the 10,000 hour level) of talking with people and counseling on relationships.  My advice is sound, it works and most days I’m on the money and right.  I tell them it’s difficult out here in singledom and unless there’s a gee-golly good reason of misery, abuse and generally irreconcilable differences then my motto is stay and work it out….

Please note, I am not making a case for marriage or singleness.  For having children versus choosing to remain without children.  Depending who I talk to, there are as many drawback as there are benefits to either.  Each of us has to decide what’s really right for our own life.

However, the questions and the looks from friends and family sometimes, when marriage and children come up is difficult and awkward – at best.  I’m also being extremely nice here.   I’ve been cornered, questioned, speculated at and preached to.  Funny thing is it hasn’t come directly from my Mother or Father – thank God.  Although I’m pretty sure they worry about me, especially my Dad (Hi Dad!), there’s been a whole host of people who feel the need to have input on this.   While I’m thankful for the concern, it hasn’t helped me not one damn bit.

I’m an only child.  I’m fiercely independent.  It’s not because I want to be.  It’s because I’ve had to be.  I would love more than anything to hand over these reigns of household management to a trusted man who would be my partner/spouse/lifemate or [insert your word of boo’d up choice].  I am fine with allowing him the ability to make decisions for us and for me to add my input.  I’d like to have a #Him to bounce ideas off of.  Someone who I could depend on when I was tired or call in case of an emergency.  I have surely built a wonderful network of friends over the years who are there.  But the intimacy of this sort of partnership is what I crave.   I don’t like having to show up for events, wedding, vacations, cook outs and house parties alone all of the time.

In the general scheme of things, I want to be with someone who is available to me when I need him, can support me when I push him away, will take over when I keep my mouth shut and generally help me.

No, I’m not broken.  There is nothing wrong with me (mostly).  I’m just single.

And that can be for any host of reasons.  Choice.  Timing.  Poor choice of who I chose to date over the years.  Spending too much time in dead-end relationships.   Trying to revive already dead situations.   I’m not new to this, not new to dating and not new to consideration of things.

I can talk about all of the bad relationship choices I’ve made over the years.  I will take ownership of them.  I made the decision to date these men.  Maybe the time spent has resulted in me being on the second half of life yearning for a family and a spouse.  But it doesn’t mean anything is actually wrong with me.    This time last year I was in the midst of a relationship that makes me thankful to come home to an empty house.  If you’ve ever had one of these kinds of a relationship, then there’s an understanding of what I feel.

The point here is many of us who are single (men and women) don’t often want to be that way.  Despite whatever our dating and prior marital history may have been, I believe many of us have settled into being alone because we don’t want to settle into the wrong relationship.   We’d rather be alone than be miserable with someone just for the sake of saying ‘Yeah, I got a (wo)man.’  Maybe our hearts are too big (in my case) and we can’t bear the idea of having to endure another heartache.  Maybe I don’t want to have to discuss another failed relationship or being publicly embarrassed by the actions of my significant other.  Maybe, just maybe, I want a place where I can go and still find love, comfort and peace.  And maybe there’s no one that’s provided that for me in years on a consistent and committed basis – despite the fact I’ve dated.

I won’t even begin to talk about how many dates I’ve been on and the mayhem and foolishness that’s ensued.  [Note to self: book material].   There are the stories those who read my blog know about.  There are stories I’ve only told my friends and there are stories  I’ve never told anyone and may never share.   There are the stories behind the stories.

The issue is many people feel as if it’s because I wanted it this way.  That’s far from the truth.  I’ve found myself on more than one occasion having to listen to the concerns of others.  I’m thankful for the concern but it seems all of the owness gets placed on me and why I’m not married.  I mean, I could have been – several times over and realized the person wasn’t right for me.  There was once or twice I met someone and I thought they were right – they didn’t think I was right.  Is anyone seeing a pattern here?

But here’s the thing – what if I didn’t want to be married or committed?  Would that make me a bad person?  No, not at all.  For those that fit under that umbrella I support them as well.  The fact remains I DO want to be married or at least in a successful long-term relationship.

I wrote this a while back and have been anxious to post it.  I just ask if you’re in a committed relationship and have a friend or a family member who is single and childless, be nice to them about their situation.  Please stop assuming things.  If you want to know and are close enough with them, then ask – the right way.  The following WRONG statements have been said to me in some form or fashion:

“oh, you like being single.”

“You love your freedom huh?”

“You like doing things alone all the time?”

“I know you don’t want to be tied down or else you’d be married by now.”

“Aren’t you dating?  Why not?”

“Why don’t you have any children yet? Have you considered finding a donor?”

“You know you can just have kids and don’t need to be married/in a relationship right?”

DONT’ say anything that even remotely looks like any of the statements above.  I have plenty of other examples.  I managed to wiggle out of each of these with grace.  I didn’t want to destroy the fabric of the relationship or turn out the family event.  Just be mindful of what you say.  No trapping them at family functions and private events where their singleness or lack of suitable suitors and dates becomes the main topic.  I’ve managed to handle it with grace but the snide remarks need to see their way out of these discussions.

Have you ever thought the person could be going through something they need to handle?  A financial situation?  A health complication?  Maybe they aren’t able to have children or are now having to debate if it’s the right thing to do?

I’m just saying there are countless reasons people remain single and childless.  Please don’t make assumptions.  Even when you love us.  It’s not fair.   Many people only tell you what they are comfortable telling you.  They may not share everything that happens in their life that’s led them to be where they are at the moment you’re speaking to them.

If you have single family members or friends and you’re married, please be nice to them.  Don’t assume they are fully content.  Don’t assume they are miserable either.  If you want to know how they are, then ask.  If you want to know if they’re dating, ask.   If there are more details, then if you know them well enough, find a considerate way to approach the topic.

I’ve come to a point of acceptance that when it happens it happens.   It can’t be forced.  It can’t be planned.   I need others to get on this page too.

Just be gentle with us.  When the time is right, it’s right.
Have you ever been cornered by your family or extended family about your relationship status?  How did you handle it?

“Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.”  ~ Anne Lamott

I read the above quote earlier today and was blown away by its meaning.  Mostly because I, Rae, in all of my desire to be nice, appropriate and kind, it makes it even more difficult to forgive someone from time to time.  Anne Lamott, in all of her infinite wisdom also says that “Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back.”

Honestly, I want to hit back some days.  There are only a few people on that list.  Who even after the time has passed since the offense, actions, deception, etc where I still wouldn’t mind hitting back.  I’m human.  I try and work on it.  I find the less I try to forcefully let go, the better I feel.  In times past, I have forgiven with almost no remembrance of it having been a chore.  Like one day, I’m as angry as Bluto and seeing red and a week or two later, I’m all zen and peace like Mother Teresa.  I’ve written about the importance of forgiving myself and talked about it when I wrote about choosing (or not) to give someone a second chance.

I think the quote mostly hit me like a brick today because I’m coming upon my 38th year of life.  While I can’t be more excited – I really am!  I also often think about how differently things could have been done if I hadn’t dated a certain person (or several), hadn’t moved to certain places, had allowed others to remain out of my life and kicked some out much sooner.  During this month I become very reflective often to the tune of becoming relatively critical of myself.  But seeing that quote this morning made me stop and think about a few things.  It made me realize I need to stop the hope of having had that better past and start realizing now is the time I have, now can create the next moments, the better moments for tomorrow. 

It’s easier said than done.   Like I said, some days, I still want to hit back.  I’ve found the best thing I can do for myself is to let those people out of my life and allow for it to remain as such.

No one really likes to talk about forgiveness.  At least not most people I know.  It [seems] is much easier to hold onto whatever offense someone has committed and hold them responsible.  It seems much easier to continue to think about the past and wonder:  What if I hadn’t ________?  What if I would have ___________? 

lous-smedes

So this month, one of the things I’ll be working on is abandoning hope of having had a ‘better’ past.  A better past would mean I wouldn’t have met all of you.  It would mean I would possibly miss out on all of the current and future goodness.  There’s no future in spending time on all of the days past.  While it’s good to have some reflection, it’s better to understand where you are and why you’re there.   In honor of that, I’ll be creating a list with items I want and expect to accomplish over the next gifted year of life.