Growth

Dress: here Slides: here

As middle age women I don’t think we believe that we are still growing. Maybe not physically (well physically cause I obviously gain weight lol) but we are growing in our behaviors and attitudes toward life. I know that I am and where I was in life could no longer contain me. I had to take a step and find a new place to grow. This was very scary for me because when you take steps towards the unknown fear sets in and you want to immediately run back to where you came from. But at some point in your life you have say to yourself I can no longer stunt my own growth and let go and move forward. It’s still scary but you do it anyway.

I simply want to encourage you with this post to not stunt your own growth! If you are here and you open your eyes everyday that’s a new opportunity to move from your planter to a beautiful garden. Open your mind to new ideas, new thoughts and new mindsets and even if fear rears it’s ugly little head do it afraid. There is so much more out here promised for us. I used to think opportunities passed me because I was too old. I used to think I was too old to be a blogger but I pushed fear aside and did it anyway. And for that I have grown in unimaginable ways! I have done things I never thought I was capable of doing!!! And I’m still growing!!! At 40! So I want you the same for you. If you are not blooming where you are planted think about what you must do to grow. Think about the moves you must take to grow to your full potential and then start taking those steps. You are NEVER too late or old as long as you’re waking up to live another day! Always remember that.

Love Ricki

40 Finally!!!

Hey ya’ll guess what? I am finally 40!!! While some women probably would not be happy about growing older I embrace it and I feel that it’s a blessing to wake up each morning. And ya’ll already know women just get better with time anyway! So in this post I wanted to share my birthday weekend and what I wore of course and  I wanted to visit my very first blog post and update ya’ll on what I have accomplished on my 40 by 40 list as well as discuss some recent life changes. So here we go!

For my birthday weekend I decided to keep it low key. I have had so many changes in my life recently that it wasn’t on my mind to throw a big party as I originally planned. Instead I invited family and several friends to a popular restaurant here in Houston called Pappadeaux’s. They serve delicious seafood and Cajun dishes and my favorite drink, The Swamp Thing.

For some reason I have been obsessed with white and gold. I originally planned on ordering a white dress from Zara but I opted for another color (which you will see in a post soon). I had purchased this white jumpsuit from Forever 21 about 2 weeks prior but there was an issue because it was backless and ya’ll already know the struggle with me and this chest. With the help of my oldest daughter I got in the jumpsuit and I was able to secure the girls. What ya’ll don’t see in the pics is that I broke a strap (UGH) and had to safety pin it lol. Fortunately I know how to make things work and I pulled it off at least for the dinner.

Jumpsuit: here Shoes: here

Here are some pics from the dinner:

On Saturday night I attended a 90s throwback concert with my sister. The concert featured 112, Jagged Edge, GUY and Keith Sweat. They really could have left Keith’s ole begging self at home! I was most excited to see GUY! I have loved this group for so long and I have to say their performance was the best. These men range from 49 to 53 and they looked and sounded good!!! Here is what I wore and a few clips from the concert.

So here’s my 40 by 40 list!

  1. Start a blog – Well ya’ll are reading it lol
  2. Learn to sew and actually complete a wearable garment. – I don’t know if this is a goal that will ever get accomplished. I am not sure I have the patience to sew.
  3. Become better with technology. – I can honestly say that I have gotten better with technology. I am sure I am not at a level that I need to be but the fear I used to have has subsided. I also got an Iphone and I am never coming back Team Android!
  4. Take a family cruise with extended family from BOTH sides. We are actually planning a cruise for this year for my in law’s 40th wedding anniversary.
  5. Start a new career. – I did not accomplish. I am undecided as to what career path I want to follow at this point in my life. BUT I am taking steps. I actually went on a job interview a few months back and I haven’t been on one of those in 10 years!
  6. Lose 10-15 more pounds. – Well due to some medical issues I actually gained weight BUT I am losing it and almost back to the size I was when my first blog post was written. With the help of Keto (learn about Keto here) I am hoping to lose even more weight soon.
  7. Learn basic Spanish. – Nope and it probably isn’t happening. I know my limitations and with everything going on in my life I don’t have the brain power. Also, that’s why we have Siri.
  8. Read at least 5 thought provoking life changing books. – I was so close! I read 3 and I am working on the 4th now.
  9. Take some cooking classes or a cake decorating class to extend my repertoire. – I still plan on accomplishing this soon.
  10. Learn to do box braids for my girls. – I did learn how to do box braids and I did them on myself (you can see them on this post here). My oldest daughter was first in my chair lol and I plan on hooking my younger two daughters up this summer. My son also wants me to learn how to twist so I can twist his hair because for some odd reason he believes he will look like Michael B. Jordan on Black Panther. (extreme side eye)
  11. Take a vacation with my husband alone. – Well this didn’t happen and is not going to happen as I no longer am with my husband. So let’s take a moment to talk about things. Of course I cannot get too personal and say exactly what went on to cause our break up. Honestly, it’s nobody’s business but ours but I will say this: when looking for a mate you need to find a compatible partner. They say opposites attract but that’s all they do. If people are not on the same page or don’t have the same morals and values and goals it is hard for them to continue a relationship long term. Love and/or lust will only last for so long. You have to have commitment to go the long run. You also have to have respect. Feelings are not facts and they are fleeting. They change so much so you have to know that person is committed to you and respects you when the love is not there or when times get hard and you don’t like each other very much. I love my husband, he gave me four wonderful children and I wish him all the peace and happiness in the world. I however was not the one for him anymore and he wasn’t for me either. As you become more seasoned in life you will learn how to identify what you want and need and you will gain the courage to make those choices or adjustments even when you aren’t sure where they will take you.
  12. Write a book – I am still working on an e-cookbook for ya’ll. It’s coming soon I promise!
  13. Go to one of those painting with a twist parties – I did this back in October and it was so much fun. I wanted to have one for my birthday but with all the recent changes in my life it just didn’t work but I would love to have a Girl’s Night Out for Seasoned Women only doing this!
  14. Implement a weekly self care routine – This is a work in progress. I have started to do a couple of things every week that is about me and just for me. I encourage everyone to do the same.
  15. Give a single mom the night off. – I am surprised I haven’t done this yet but with mother’s day approaching it is definitely high on the to do list.
  16. Go to a networking event by myself – Nope! I wouldn’t say I’m scared to do this but I haven’t searched for one to go to yet. The plan is to go to one this summer.
  17. Decorate every major holiday – Fail. I did it up fro Christmas tho!
  18. Get a bike or rollerblades and actually use them.- I need to do this. I need to start incorporating some type of exercise into my weight loss journey and it needs to be something I enjoy so I will stick to it.
  19. Purchase a new car. – Done! And I am so glad I did.
  20. Repair my credit – This has definitely been something I have been consciously working on and my credit score has improved a lot. Like almost by 100 points. My goal is to purchase a home in the next 3 years and I am on track to do that!
  21. QUIT my current job. – Nope! I still work here but again I have been making a conscious effort to look for another position.
  22. Take my oldest daughter and son to a personal finance class or seminar.- My oldest has actually taken a personal finance course this semester in college. I am working on getting my son to take a class in high school.
  23. Restructure my student loans (remember I went to UOP). Done! They won’t be repaid anytime soon but at least I’ll be debt free before I’m dead.
  24. Take a new family picture.- This is in the works for this summer since my son sad our last family photo shoot was embarrassing.
  25. Complete the 52 week savings challenge.- No. Since making a drastic and last minute move my savings is pretty much non-existent but I’m working on it.
  26. Begin and maintain an exercise routine.-No! And I don’t want to but my sister is forcing me to join a gym with her so I may have to.
  27. Go on one on one dates with each of my children.- I have done this with about 3/4 of my kids lol. It is sooo fun! I encourage you to do this. These kids really have a lot of interesting things to say and a whole different and enlightening point of view.
  28. Spend more quality time with my extended family. (We are getting old!)- I have made an effort to attend family events and I have enjoyed seeing and talking to family members I haven’t seen in years.
  29. Take a spinning class-NO. But again this may be happening soon.
  30. Throw an event for women who love beauty and fashion and want to make friends like me! – I have some plans I am working on to host a small GNO event this summer for my seasoned sisters.
  31. Consistently earn 2 additional incomes.- This is still in the works. I really have to make an effort to start a consistent side income especially since I am now a single mom.
  32. Create a daily prayer routine. (I actually pray constantly but I would like some structure)- I read the Confident Woman devotional by Joyce Meyer and say a prayer. I do need to work on being more consistent with it.
  33. Decorate my master bedroom.-I am excited to do this because now I get to decorate how I want! I will also be taking ya’ll along with me as I decorate my whole home on a budget.
  34. Upgrade my camera and blog once I learn more about technology.- This is still a work in progress. I promise using this iPhone is just too easy but I do need to get a real camera once I am able to buy one cash.
  35. Go to school for cosmetology. My passion and purpose is to help other women look and feel beautiful.- I decided this is no longer a goal for me. I feel like I can still help women look and feel beautiful with my blog.
  36. Write several posts on mental health awareness. I don’t think people take this as seriously as they should.- I wrote a post and shared my story and I plan to write more posts like this as I navigate this new chapter in my life.
  37. Make new friends outside of my circle (work, church, family).- I have to say I have successfully did this. I have made friends here in Houston and in other cities and I am loving meeting more women and developing a real sisterhood. I believe women especially black women are portrayed as catty and never getting along (look at reality TV) but in real life we are not. We have to do so much in life so we keep a tough exterior but we need to let down those walls and embrace our sisters and support one another. When I did this I have made life long friends! Ultimately that is my goal with my blog above everything else!
  38. Start a FB group for women over 30 about beauty and fashion. Sorry younger ladies, our needs are different once you reach a certain age.- I actually upped this age to 35 and we talk about everything in our group, not just beauty and fashion. It is truly awesome to be able to talk, encourage and learn from so many wonderful ladies. If you are over 35 and interested in joining the group it’s called It’s Better When it’s Seasoned on Facebook. I have some plans for these ladies!!!
  39. Open a business. (Look out for it).- WIP. It’s coming!!!
  40. Go hard! I want to stop half-assing it, procrastinating and just get it done. Whatever it is. No excuses.- I can honestly say I took some big steps and leaps of faith this year. I actually changed my whole life and my family dynamic. I found some much needed peace and happiness and I am grateful for everything, every person and every lesson. So there was definitely no half-assing it for me this year. I mean NONE!

Well that’s a wrap on 39. Now it’s time for me for me to live my absolute BEST life!!! What are you doing this year to live your best life? Are you knocking things out on your list? Let me know.

Love Ricki