I am going to make this post short and sweet. As a mother of four I do thoroughly enjoy Mother’s Day. I even bought this dress specifically to celebrate the holiday but as I have become more seasoned and experienced life changes I now understand that Mother’s Day can be a hurtful holiday for some. Of course celebrate the mothers in your life or your own motherhood but keep in mind our sisters who may be experiencing a not so good time. As we approach Mother’s Day I want us to remember these things.
Illustration is by Marie Andrews via Instagram
Also, be sure to remember to be sensitive to those who may have lost the people that celebrated them as mothers (i.e. spouse).
Just remember even if it means nothing to you, it may mean everything to them.
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.
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.
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!
Start a blog – Well ya’ll are reading it lol
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Read at least 5 thought provoking life changing books. – I was so close! I read 3 and I am working on the 4th now.
Take some cooking classes or a cake decorating class to extend my repertoire. – I still plan on accomplishing this soon.
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)
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.
Write a book – I am still working on an e-cookbook for ya’ll. It’s coming soon I promise!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Decorate every major holiday – Fail. I did it up fro Christmas tho!
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.
Purchase a new car. – Done! And I am so glad I did.
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!
QUIT my current job. – Nope! I still work here but again I have been making a conscious effort to look for another position.
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.
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.
Take a new family picture.- This is in the works for this summer since my son sad our last family photo shoot was embarrassing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take a spinning class-NO. But again this may be happening soon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!!
Open a business. (Look out for it).- WIP. It’s coming!!!
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.
When I first started my blog all I heard about was finding your niche and identifying your target audience. You had to know who you were speaking to and who you were serving. I really had no idea who that was. I knew I loved fashion and makeup and everything associated with those things. I knew I was a woman of a certain age and I could no longer relate to younger women who were showing more than I cared to show anymore. I settled on blogging for women who were my age and enjoyed the things I loved and who wanted to see what I saw. But eventually that wasn’t enough for me anymore. Fashion is awesome and where would I be without concealer but I wanted to cover topics that were relevant to me and possibly to other women who looked like me.
I wanted to represent for the ladies that are in that weird place in life (at least it was weird for me) where you are getting older but you are not old! You still have so much life to live and share but you can now do it with more confidence because life experiences have taught you valuable lessons. I was stuck on how to describe this woman when my good friend Sheena (who I actually met through Instagram follow her @she_is_fab) told me you are not getting old you are just becoming seasoned. Thank you Sheena because I took this word and as you know I ran with it! I think it is the perfect word to describe where I am in life as well as other ladies in my audience. What does it mean to be a seasoned woman? My definition is a woman who has not just survived but conquered all those things that life tends to throw at us like hurt, pain and loss. Even though those experiences (which we tend to collect as we age) can be hard those experiances are necessary and help to sprinkle us with wisdom, perseverance, strength and that certain je ne sais quoi! Shoot that description right there makes me proud to be a seasoned woman! I mean who really wants to be bland anyway?
I decided at the request of my fellow seasoned sisters to create merchandise geared for us. My first venture into this scary new world is a graphic tee. I love T-shirts like the next person but I am careful about what I broadcast across my chest. For instance, I love trap music just like the next mother of teenagers, but I don’t want a T-shirt that says TRAP QUEEN. I wanted a T-shirt that was fun but at the same time expressed my pride in being a Seasoned Woman. I designed two shirts so far that I felt expressed and I hope you like them. Of course, these are samples and the final edit will be a little different (and better quality, I am figuring all this out as I go!) but I am uber proud of what I have came up with. So be on the lookout in the future for these and more! (Hint: sign up for email so you can get updates on the launch, pre sale information and discount codes. Do it now!)
Are you a seasoned woman? Does the definition describe you? Also what do you think of the shirts, would you buy and wear one? Let me know in the comments!
ZarahereBy now everybody knows (In my Phaedra Parks voice) that I absolutely love being a Seasoned Woman!!! It really does feel good to love yourself, have confidence and know what and who you want in your life. One of the things I have learned from being seasoned is the way you carry yourself is important! Growing up my mother ALWAYS emphasized that as a woman you should carry yourself a certain way. As a child I never quite understood what that meant but now I understand completely.
The way you look, speak, treat other people makes up the way you carry yourself. I think the way we look is very important whether we want to admit it or not. It is not how other people should define us but our image is what gets us through the door whether its business or personal. And I am not talking about beauty. I am talking about class. Are you neat and clean? Are your clothes ironed and pockets tucked into your jeans (my pet peeve with my kids!)? Is your hair combed or out of place? Are your fingernails dirty? Do you smile or frown? All of these are things people see and make a determination as to whether they want to get to know you better.
Another thing which may be a touchy subject for the ladies is are you showing too much? I’m not talking about a little cleavage here or there or wearing a crop top. I’m talking about the barely there painted on dress. Don’t be shamed because I have done it but now I understand that leaving something to the imagination is way sexier than baring it all. Some celebrities and even influencers think it’s cute to show us everything they’re working with, but I am here to tell you it is not. Leave that for your man, woman or whoever you are dating in 2018. I’ll tell you another thing Sallie has said. If I can already see your whole city, state and country- why would I want to travel there anymore?
That was one of the main reasons I chose this dress as my Valentines look. I am almost completely covered but I am still SEXY (If I do say so myself). This dress is midi length which I love and has an open knit fabric which has a slip underneath but still shows just enough skin (size down for a more form fitting look cause the dress has a nice stretch). I don’t have to worry about tugging and pulling a dress down, scared I’m going to show all my mama blessed me with. I don’t have to think about a boob popping out or sliding up under my bra (Yes that has happened smh). I am still SEXY and SEASONED without giving everybody a peep show.
Don’t be scared, tell me how you really feel about women showing a lot of skin? Do you agree with what I said or think I’m too old school?
I pray you have an awesome Valentine’s Day whether you or boo’d up or single and satisfied. Remember to love yourself first because that’s how people will love you in return!
Yup we are going to talk about Self-Love. I know you are like GIRL I love me! And if you do then great! This post isn’t for you then. But for those who are still learning to love their selves you are welcome to read my story.
This post was originally a Galentine’s Day look. You know to hang with your girl crew. Maybe a quick happy hour or gabfest over dinner. The top is cute and comfortable (size down!) and snatches that waist! And because I intend to get a lot of wear out of all my clothes and shoes the red boots are back and I feel they are appropriate for this type of event (hello Valentines = Red).
Even though I bought a new wig hot flashes (at least I thought they were lol) kept me from wearing it. I decided to try out a natural hairstyle instead. You see my 12 year old daughter entered 6th grade which is considered middle school here in TX and the growing pains have arrived. She no longer loves and embraces her beautiful thick long and curly natural hair. And that saddens me. She wants her hair straightened and worn long (I’m thinking someone commented on her having short hair but we all know the shrinkage struggle) and even though I’ve done it for her I’ve explained this can’t be a frequent hairstyle because of the heat damage. I could see the disappointment in her eyes and Lord knows I want to make her happy but I’m also her mother and must do what’s best. So I decided to wear my natural hair to show her Mama loves being natural too. Now even though my youngest two daughters are natural and have never had relaxers and I can say I style their hair pretty well, mine ain’t like that! It’s gonna take some getting used to but I’m confident I can learn my hair.
BUT HUNNY!!! If you knew me say 4-5 years ago I could not have stepped out in public with my natural hair EVER!!! I would have felt ugly. Period. I had low self esteem and hardly any self confidence. I looked haggard (my sister and mother actually told me that ugh) and I was about 225 lbs and you could have easily thought I was 10 years older than I actually was. It was sad. I was sad. And you could actually see it from the way I carried myself, talked, my activities EVERYTHING! My life was my kids and my marriage was not good. I just wasn’t in a good place in life. I considered suicide. Again. But I promised myself I would never leave my children motherless. At least not by my hand. I’ve always struggled with depression most of my life. When I was 4 & 5 years old I was molested. I don’t remember all of what happened but I knew what was going on wasn’t right. My mother found out what happened and actions were taken and people went to jail. But unfortunately I went with them to my own personal jail. It’s something about having your innocence taken away that makes you feel dirty, tainted, and unworthy. I can say my Mama did the best she could to make sure I went to therapy and group sessions but this was all while I was still very young. See you don’t really feel the effects of what abuse does to you until you are older. Until you are growing up and your body changes and you experience love or what you think is love and deal with the stresses of adulting. All of that took a toll on me. However I survived those things but I wasn’t living life. I was cold, mean, not affectionate, and confusing to people that loved me. The tiniest thing would depress me and I never ever felt someone would truly love me because of what I had been through and therefore I never let anyone be close to me. In October 2001 I attempted suicide after a break up. I took as many Xanax pills as I had which were quite a few and decided to leave this earth. I’m not sure if I really wanted to die but at that time I didn’t feel worthy enough to stay here. Fortunately I was awakened by family members and an ambulance and I was not too far gone so my stomach didn’t have to be pumped but I did have to drink that nasty charcoal (y’all you will have that stuff in your system for months!) and I was committed to a psych ward for 2 days. It was an experience I never wish to have again. Years later I wanted to live but I still wasn’t enjoying life because of the depression. I still was looking for love that I didn’t give myself. BUT GOD!!! He will let you know you are loved. I can’t say it was a church that helped me specifically it was just my prayers and I’m sure the prayers of others that were interceding on my behalf but I decided I wanted to love me. I wanted to love me like God loves me. I wanted to enjoy my life as Rickey Nicole. Not a wife or mom or daughter or sister. Just as me. And then the transformation began. Was it overnight? Of course not. But little by little I started discovering who I was and what I liked and didn’t like and what I enjoyed doing and started living a little. I experimented with new clothing. I discovered make up and hair tutorials on YouTube and I tried everything whether it worked or not lol. Those things might seem superficial but discovering my beauty and worth filled me with happiness and people could tell. I’m still an introvert (ha I bet you don’t believe that) but I talk to people now instead of hide. I laugh, I smile, I’m even a bit of a flirt (with my husband of course *wink*). Life has changed drastically since I’ve learned to love myself. And even though everyday isn’t peachy I still remember where I was and I’m grateful because I’m here to experience it all the good and the bad. This is also why I celebrate being a seasoned woman because I got better as I grew older and I hope to inspire other ladies that aging can be THE best blessing (I mean a birthday means you are still living right!) So I guess I’ll leave you with a tip to the secret of how I discovered self love. Remember you were created in His image and He even knows the number of hairs on your head. Tell me who knows that!!! God! And through Him ALL things are possible even loving yourself almost as much as He loves you. I mean cause you can’t out love God but you can come pretty dang close!
Back to Black Series: The Little Black Dress (LBD) is a necessity in your wardrobe!
I am excited to participate in a collaboration with several other AWESOME bloggers showing you how to style those never ending black items that we love! Make sure to check out the other bloggers style picks via the links at the end of this post.
As ya’ll know from this post here I am re-organizing my closet and trying my best to include clothing I absolutely love. The little black dress (LBD) is definitely a staple I needed in my closet. I actually want to add another one more suited for our hot Houston weather. And even though we have had freezing temperatures here the dress I am wearing today fits our normal winter weather. This dress is made of a thicker ribbed sweater material and ruffles I love placed strategically around the armholes which helps to hide this big ole arms of mine! I found this dress on clearance at Express for additional 50% and ended up paying around $15!
I styled the dress for a date night in this post since V day is next month and kept the emphasis on the short hemline and plunging neckline. However I believe this dress can be styled with black opaque tights and a camisole or tank underneath for more conservative events.
I decided to show a little leg (my children were not pleased) and instead of wearing the usual over the knee boots I wore my black boots (4 yrs old from Forever 21) that reach right below my knee. I was trying to keep it sexy but these knees are a little chubby hunny! Hopefully the Keto diet will take care of that lol!
I know I love black for several reasons (especially the slimming aspect) and you will see all black everything in my closet quite often. Please be sure to check out the bloggers by clinking the link below to see how fabulously they styled everyday black pieces before we get with all the colors that spring bring!