20 People You Need in Your Life…

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The following people are in no particular order but these are the people you should have in your Address Book!

1.  An accountant – When you start getting assets, you need someone to help you manage those assets effectively. 

2. An attorney – A good attorney can help you fight parking tickets and can help protect your brand, reputation and intellectual property.

3. A make-up artist – I’m not in the make-up artist every day camp yet, but whenever I have a special occasion I have three women I turn to that help me put my best foot forward. I also took some time to learn how to apply my own basic make-up (foundation, brows, eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick/gloss) in the event that my make-up artists aren’t available. Whenever I have a special event I call one of my MUAs!

4. Someone who makes you laugh until your stomach hurts. Sometimes you just need to laugh to keep from crying. There are a couple of people who can make me laugh until it hurts.

5. A good trainer – Health is important and you need a trainer to help you develop a routine! Bonus points if this person is also a nutritionist!

6. A good doctor (especially a good OB-GYN). You need someone who makes you feel comfortable!

7. A father (figure). This person can serve as your protector and can give you that paternal masculine energy when you need it.

8. A mother (figure). – Sometimes you just need an older woman to look out for you, to cheer for you and to give you motherly advice.

9. Someone (or something *giggles*) to make you feel sexy 🙂 If it’s a lover or romantic partner great… If it’s a machine… well that’s fine too. Sometimes you just need to feel SEXY!

10. A good mechanic – Car trouble is inevitable. You need a good mechanic that won’t overcharge you to fix your vehicle and give you routine maintenance.

11. A good general contractor – You don’t really need this until you become a homeowner, but someone to fix the plumbing and do other work around the house is important. We have someone who can do it all, gutters, cabinets, doors, you name it and he is VITAL in our lives.

12. A realist (or a pessimist). You need a trouble-shooter. The person you can call to talk you down off a ledge, to help you figure out what could go wrong and to make you approach a situation to be more prepared. This is particularly true if you are an optimist or dreamer.

13. An optimist. This is your cheerleader. The person who gives you the courage and the permission to just DO IT! You need this person desperately if you’re a realist or pessimist.

14. A good editor. Someone who can help you put your best foot forward on paper.

15. A public speaking expert/coach. We can all brush up on our presenting/public speaking skills. Bonus points if you know someone who can do a mock speech/mock interview with you before your time in the spotlight!

16. A ride or die friend. I have a couple of these! My girls will put on gym shoes and take off their earrings if it came down to it. They answer their phone no matter the time of day. I can tell them ANYTHING without being judged. My ride or die friends were even in the delivery room when I miscarried and gave birth to my angel-baby. They saw it all! NOTHING shocks them and it is so good to know that I have people like them in my life.

17. A professional mentor. You MUST have access to someone who has more knowledge and experience than you in your industry that you are not in direct competition with. You will learn so much from this individual!

18. A spiritual leader/guru. This should have been number one on the list, but who is your prayer warrior? Your life-speaker? The person who can look at you crazy when you stray too far away from your values.

19. A big sister figure. Someone that is a little older than you that you can share jokes and general life tips with. They are too young to be your friend and too old to be your mom. 

20. A mentee. We have to start training the next generation of leaders and strong women. If you’re in your twenties or older, you should have someone younger than you that you are helping to develop. It could be a family member or another young woman who would benefit from spending time with and learning from you.

20 Things I Know About Love…

So for today’s #worthythirty post, I’m talking about what I know about love! Here it goes…

-1Caption: My love & I on Christmas Day. One of my favorite candids of us! There was no alcohol involved!

#1 You can love someone who doesn’t love you back. If this happens to you can decide to continue loving that person from a distance or you can find someone who loves you equally. The truth of the matter is that love is not always reciprocated.

#2 You can have more than one love in a lifetime. Remind me to tell you the story about my High School sweetheart C.D. (trying to protect his innocence lol, but if you went to High School with me YOU KNOW who I’m talking about). I loved him deeply, passionately and madly. He broke my heart when I found out that he had gotten another girl pregnant while dating me… Needless to say I DID live to see another day and eventually I found another love. I still have those positive memories about C.D…

#3 Sex is the quickest way to confuse your love meter. It’s a scientific fact. Q-Tip had it right when he said “Kissed my cheek, moved in, you confused things…” Sex may make you feel or see something there that isn’t. Sex may make you stay somewhere where you shouldn’t. It’s hard to think clearly once you’ve exchanged bodily fluids with someone!

#4 There are different types of love. There is romantic love. There is platonic love. There is paternal & maternal love. The list goes on and on.

#5 Self love is the foundation of healthy love. If you love yourself, you maintain certain standards. If you have low self-esteem or confidence, it makes it easy for others to take advantage of you.

#6 No one can leave when they don’t want to leave or stay where they don’t want to stay. This goes to all of the people who are “side chicks” or “creeps.” If she can ONLY text you, that’s a problem! If he is soooo unhappy at home… then he could leave. This is one of the best lessons my husband taught me. When we got together we were both with other people. One day he told me “I don’t want to hear about your bad relationship if you’re not going to do anything about it.” I just needed a reminder that I was MAKING A CHOICE to be in a bad situation! Don’t allow yourself to be used or strung along by someone making empty promises.

#7 Individuals committed to each other define their own norms. You decide the norms for your relationship. There are some people who couldn’t stand the idea of a large portion of their relationship being long distance – they could never date someone who had to travel for work or who was in the military. For some couples that is the norm. Some couple share the household duties while others are pretty traditional in their approach. Remember that what works for other couples may not work for you and your partner. You determine the rules.

#8 Success attracts distractions. Whenever you “get your swagger” back or whenever you’re knee deep in a healthy relationship, they come a-running lol. It seems like everything I was in a good relationship a blast from the past would finally come to his senses and contact me. Too little, too late. When you’re successful in your career or you have a healthy social life, you ooze confidence, positivity and happiness and it smells like pie to the outside world.

#9 You teach people how to treat (or mistreat) you. You have to have standards and demand a certain level of respect. If someone keeps doing something bad to you, it is because you are giving them permission to…

#10 The best relationships require the most work. Good relationships require constant communication, negotiation and compromise.

#11 Having a baby is never a solution to saving a broken relationship neither is having sex. If your relationship is crappy, having a baby will only make the crap explode. Having a baby should be a mutual decision! The same thing with sex. Good sex does not equal a good relationship. If that’s all you have, then it’s not really a relationship, it’s something else.

#12 Communicate from your own feelings and thoughts. Use I statements… You have the right to feel and to think and to express those feelings and thoughts to your partner.

#13 People express love differently. Communicate your needs and preferences and don’t assume the other person knows them. What do you like? What do you need? If you feel like your partner is not paying enough attention to you… TELL HIM OR HER! Sometimes we get frustrated because we communicate our feelings non-verbally eye rolls, faint voice, full-out tantrum, but if we don’t communicate THE SOURCE of our feelings, it’s just wasted energy and it is not fair to our partners.

#14 Love is a choice that requires two committed partners. Love is a choice… Love is a choice… It is a choice that BOTH parties have to make… If one person decides to stop showing love… the other party has to respond accordingly. We can say what we want about Gabby Union & D. Wade but they both have made a choice to keep loving each other…

#15 Time is the most important gift you have. Diamonds are nice… flowers are nice… but time… undivided, uninterrupted time is the most precious thing you can give another person.

#16 Sacrifice is the ultimate expression of love. Sacrifice is the opposite of selfishness. Sacrifice means giving something up, repressing something, sharing something with another being. When I think of sacrifice I think of Jesus, which is why sacrifice is the ultimate expression of love.

#17 There are ups and downs in a relationship but there should be more ups than downs. If you are more unhappy than happy in your relationship, you should re-evaluate things.

#18 Trust your instincts, they are rarely wrong. Pretty self explanatory. My instincts are usually 99.9999999999995% correct. I’m sure that is the same for most people.

#19 Pay attention to your patterns. Think about the last three people you’ve dated and make a list of what they have in common. I’d bet money that there are so many similarities it may scare you. We all have a type and for better or for worse, it is important to be conscious of that.

#20 Give the type of love you want to receive. I’ll never forget the first time I gave my husband a foot massage. It was when we were dating and he told me he’d never had a full foot rub from a romantic partner like that. I was flabbergasted! This foot massage is a regular part of our routine. Shortly after that foot massage I started getting these AMAZING foot massages from him. He told me he wanted to make me feel as good as I made him feel. I say all of that to say… GIVE the type of love you want to receive. Give the type of affection you want to experience. Say the type of things you want to hear. In a healthy relationship, your partner will mirror you…

Be sure to check back tomorrow for my #worthythirty list. We’re inching to a new decade and I’m happy to share all I’ve learned so far!

20 Websites I Visit Regularly

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I apologize in advance for hijacking the next hour or two of your life, but all of these sites are totally worth it! These are my top 20 favorite websites. Some are stores, some are blogs and some are simply eye candy. Enjoy 🙂

1. Clutch Magazine – this is the place where I go for my news and excellent opinion stories. It has everything I want in a magazine with a tagline that says “Smart & Fly” http://clutchmagazine.com/

2. Black & Married With Kids – The best advice for singles, married people & parents. http://www.blackandmarriedwithkids.com/

3. Mrs. O – Follows the first lady’s fashion. Go here for fashion ideas http://mrs-o.com/

4. Lifehacker – This site has a little bit of everything – tech advice, productivity advice. I have been reading it for years! http://lifehacker.com/

5. Shabby Apple – The cutest, classiest vintage inspired clothing. http://www.shabbyapple.com/

6. Houzz – Interior design and visual stimulation. Has over 2 million photos that you can view by room, style, or search. This is where I go to dream about my future home! http://www.houzz.com/

7. Ali Edwards – My favorite scrapbooker. Great memory keeping advice: http://aliedwards.com/blog

8. She Reads Truth – inspirational devotionals from a Christian perspective. http://shereadstruth.com/

9. YBF (Young Black & Fabulous) – Celebrity gossip & news (from an urban perspective) http://theybf.com/

10. A Bit East Coast – Another blogger whose work I LOVE! http://www.abiteast.typepad.com/

11. Brooklyn Bride – A modern wedding site that always makes me leave happy! Beautiful photos, colors and entertaining ideas: http://bklynbrideonline.com/

12. Fashion Bomb Daily – Another great fashion site! http://fashionbombdaily.com/

13. Simplify 101 – Advice for getting organized & being more productive. One of my favorite sites: http://www.simplify101.com/organizing-blog/

14. Etsy – This is the place to go for anything homemade. All of my gifts come from this place! http://www.etsy.com/

15. Persnickety Prints – This is where I get my photos printed and sent to my home! The quality is amazing! http://persnicketyprints.com/

16. FutureMe.Org – Write a letter to yourself and have it automatically e-mail at some point in the future. http://www.futureme.org/

17. Making it Lovely – Another beautiful design blog. http://makingitlovely.com/

18. Modcloth – A cute place to by vintage & retro inspired (& actual) clothing. Very affordable stuff. http://www.modcloth.com/

19. Spotify – I never thought anything would make me abandon my beloved iTunes, but Spotify has taken my heart. For $10 a month you have access to unlimited music, your friends music and you can create playlists without it taking up a ton of space. https://www.spotify.com/us/

20. Seth Godin – the man is a freaking living, walking marketing genius. I LOVE his blog! http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

Join me tomorrow for #worthythirty as I celebrate the month of my birth with a daily blog list post!