My New Home

Hello Honeybees,

In my last post I shared that things at the honey pot were busy….well things have not slowed down AT ALL.  In fact the pace has picked up. The month of June has been and continues to be crazy busy for me & my family.  The biggest thing this month is that we moved. Yes I have a new hive. After years of being a homeowner I gave it up. I know it sounds crazy but it’s the right move for me. This blog post by photog & blogger Michael Butler sums it up quite nice. http://www.one901.com/one901/2017/4/21/10-reasons-i-dont-own-a-home 

 

My ex husband and I purchased our house three years into our marriage.  We wanted our future children to have the space to grow, run and play.  Now that I have been divorced for almost 9 years the upkeep on a house by myself was more than I wanted to continue to handle.  I was over it.  As my sons got older I knew that I was ready to move on. Anyone close to me knows that my plan was to move to an apartment in the Downtown, Midtown area after my oldest son graduated from high school.  Well, when you tell the universe your dreams it rises up to meet you. And rise up it did.  I didn’t know the how, why or where but I knew that I had to take the first step. I started the process in October of 2016 and in June 2017 I moved into my new space in Crosstown. You know that part of town between Midtown & Downtown.  See how things work out!

Yes, I gave up space but to me it was a worth the trade. As I was packing my closet I realized that I have way too much “stuff”.  I already knew this but now I REALLY know it. I did a purge before I stated packing but that still was not enough so I will purge again. My goal is get all of my clothes, shoes, coats etc into one closet. This move is forcing me to live with less.  It can be done and I will do it. I’m putting that into the universe.

Outside of the big move this month my oldest has New Student Orientation at University of Memphis and a week of Frosh Camp. My youngest spent the first week of June at Engineering Camp at Missouri S&T. I spent 20 hours on the road that week plus moving. Whew…this honeybee is TIRED! But I’m glad to be in my new home. We are still unpacking and getting organized. I’ll do a post later once we have everything put together.

To say that I am looking forward to some rest in July is an understatement. Oh yeah…there a few other things that I put into the universe that will happen in July so stay tuned.  #FollowMeInto50

Belinda Bloggingwithbee

Beewisdom – Own less, Live More -anonymous

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Busy Making Honey

Hello Honeybees,

It’s been a busy time around the honey pot. This month has brought a couple of opportunities for me to step outside my comfort zone and one next chapter life event for my oldest son.

Since losing my mom, Mother’s Day has always been bittersweet.  This year I had the opportunity to share the experience by speaking at a butterfly release. The butterfly release gave those who have lost a mother, sister or child, a chance for remembrance and comfort. This was my first time sharing in spoken word about my mom. I’ve shared it in writing but never in front of people. I made it through the speech without crying but I can’t say the same for my support. When I returned to my seat some of my support was in tears. I know it wasn’t all about me, they were crying for their own lost. Between them they lost a mother, a sister and a daughter. I am grateful that they were there for me & I pray that the tears that they shed were cleansing.

On a lighter note, I participated in a video for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. I was asked to share my thoughts as a parent for one of their programs Be Proud! Be Responsible!. Be Proud! Be Responsible! is a teen pregnancy prevention program that collaborates with community centers, schools and churches. This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Helping to educate young people on the risk & consequences of being sexual active before they are ready is important work. Being a part of this video was a lot of fun as you can tell. I can’t wait to see the final product.

Last but certainly not least my oldest son graduated from high school. I vividly remember his birth two days after losing my mom. Now my “baby” is ready to start the next real chapter in his life. I held up really well until the graduates marched in. It was at that moment that I felt the presence of my mom and I was a little chocked up. I made it through the ceremony without crying but the fact that my baby was moving on was emotionally tough.

The month of May is not over yet & there are still more life changes to come. As my family moves into a new home, my oldest is preparing for a very busy June with a job & University of Memphis Freshman activities, my youngest is preparing for Engineering camp and my job is relocating to new offices. This Honeybee will need a vacay soon & very soon.

I told you that a lot is happening around the honey pot!! Stay tuned to see what coming next. Oh yeah, in July. The Honeybee turns 50. More to come on that. #FollowMeInto50

Belinda Bloggingwithbee

Beewisdom- “Things will never be the same, that’s just the way it is” Tupac

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I AM a Philanthropist

Hello Honeybees,

I am a philanthropist!!

When people hear the word philanthropist they usually think, Oprah, Bill & Melinda Gates or Warren Buffett , you know MONEY, BIG MONEY! The month of April taught me that REAL philanthropy is not just about money but it’s about giving back with your time too. Now, I am truly not in the big money category YET but I am in the time category.  As a working single parent my time is precious so where I spend my time is very important. I work for a nonprofit so I understand how valuable it is when someone wants to give to an organization whether that be time or money. So outside of the work that I do for A Step Ahead Foundation I give my time to the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis (WFGM).

The mission of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis is to encourage philanthropy and foster leadership among women and support programs that enable women and children to reach their full potential.

The month of April saw the WFGM in full swing honoring 3 women in Memphis who have made a difference in the community. Edith Kelly-Green (Philanthropy & Leadership Award), Barbara Holden Nixon (Innovation Award) & Pat Morgan (Catalyst Award). These three outstanding women were honored at the Legends Award Reception. I volunteered my time for this event. It was during Mrs. Kelly-Green’s acceptance speech that it finally hit me….I am a philanthropist. Although she was being honored for her work as a philanthropist, she stressed the importance of giving money but most importantly the giving of time. On this night I was a philanthropist.

Two weeks after the Legends Award Reception was one of the premier philanthropic events of the year. The Annual Tribute Luncheon. Can you imagine over 1.600 people coming together to support the efforts of the WFGM? Well, you don’t have to imagine it because if you live in Memphis you were there or you know someone that was. The guest speaker was one of my SHEroes Ms. Tamron Hall.  Tamron spoke about the diversity in the room, how important the work being done by the WFGM in the 38126 zip code is to our community and overcoming obstacles. She also spoke about the charities that are important to her. Tamron Hall is a philanthropist. I also volunteered my time for this event. On this day I too was a philanthropist.

It’s not always about the money.

Now don’t get me wrong, it takes money to fund charities and programs, but it also takes the time that people donate to help nonprofits move the needle. We all have some free time to help others. Think about it this way… You didn’t get to where you are without the help of someone else.

I am a philanthropist……….are you?

Belinda Bloggingwithbee

Beewisdom- Philanthropy is part of the path to heaven- Tamron Hall

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What I Learned At St Jude

Hello Honeybees,

As a parent I am always worried and concerned when one of my boys is sick. This allergy season has been really rough on my youngest. The worst year yet for him. I just can not imagine how the parents of children at St Jude feel. These children are dealing with life threatening illnesses. 

If you live in Memphis you know what a gem we have in our city in St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I also believe that we take this gem for granted. I know that I am guilty. We all know about the good work that happens at St Jude. I know that families never have to pay for the medical treatments that their child receive. I know that families from out of town have a place to stay so that they can be near their children at the Ronald McDonald House , Target House or Tri Delta Place.

E for Expenses at St Jude

As part of the Memphis Blogger & Influencer meetup I had the opportunity to take a tour of St. Jude and learned some very interesting facts.

St Jude Memphis Blogger Ambassadors

Did you know that Danny Thomas, founder of St Jude, was instrumental in helping to desegregate the hospitality industry in Memphis? Before there was Ronald McDonald House families stayed at hotels which were not open to people of color. Danny told the hotels that if they couldn’t open their rooms to all that he would take his business elsewhere.

Did you know that it was the lack of quality healthcare of an African American boy that lead Danny to start St Jude?

St. Jude Statue

Did you know that the original architect for St Jude was African American? Paul Williams learned to draw his renderings upside down because he couldn’t be on the same side of the table as Caucasians.  

To know that St Jude has so much history outside of the medical miracles that it performs everyday is mind blowing.  As part of my #followmeinto50 I am planning to do a fundraising event for St Jude so stay tuned.

Remember this line because you will see it again….”If you can’t give green, give red”  if you know what that means let me know in the comments.

BelindaBloggingwithbee

Beewisdom- Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others- Danny Thomas

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Apples & Oranges

Hello Honeybees,

In my March lessons learned post I talked about people not being who they POST to be. I received a lot of positive feedback from that lesson. People understand that sentiment. I’ve heard people say that they don’t follow certain people because it makes them feel “unhappy” about their own lives. To that I say if it makes you that unhappy then it is absolutely in your best interest to not follow. But I also say that you should not compare your apples to their oranges

Some will share the good & the not so good, while others will only share the good. If you are only seeing the good then you by into the “they have the perfect life ” but come on now…we all know that no one has a perfect life.

Their apple tree is not always bearing fruit. Just like your orange tree is not always bearing oranges. There is always a harvest time.  There is always a time where you must pick the fruit to make room for the next.  It’s that time between the picking season & the next harvest that people don’t share.

Here are 3 ways to help you move past comparing your apples to other peoples oranges:

  1. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

No matter where you are in your life you have something to be grateful for. You may not have the million dollar house or the fancy car or the smartest kids but what you do have is a place to sleep, a car that goes from point A to point B and kids that are alive & healthy. Do not discount that. Count it all joy!

  1. BE OK WITH IMPERFECTION

It’s ok to NOT be perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect person. God made only one YOU. You are unique. Own it and move forward being the best you that you can be.

  1. FOCUS ON YOUR JOURNEY

Your starting point could be someone’s middle or end. Focus on where you want to go and the steps that you need to take to get there. You lose sight of your goal and precious time comparing your journey to others.

Have I fallen victim to the comparison game…..of course I have and will again BUT it’s acknowledging it, letting it go and refocusing that is important. I totally use my social media “family” as inspiration, not to keep up but to keep it moving.

Belinda

Who are some of your social media inspirational influencers?

Beewisdom- Don’t compare yourself with anyone else in the world. If you do you are insulting yourself- dailyquotes.com

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Road Trip

Hello Honeybees,

I do not like long car trips, put me on a plane any day.

I haven’t always disliked long car rides but as I have gotten older it’s getting harder to sit & ride for long periods.  However, last weekend I did just that. Rikki & I hoped in the car and headed to Hammond, Louisiana. It was great to have some time catching up on life and reminiscing about the good ole days .  As we enjoy our year of 50 we took a road trip with a purpose. One of Rikki’s line sister’s daughter was joining our illustrious sisterhood of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and we wanted to be a part of the ceremony.  That is one of the best reasons ever for any kind of trip.

Southeastern Louisiana University, is located in Hammond, LA about 30 minutes outside of New Orleans. We left bright & early Saturday morning, made a pit stop in Jackson, MS and headed into Hammond. Now you know we couldn’t be that close to New Orleans and not pay a visit. After a 20 min rest at our hotel we hit the road again and rolled into NOLA.

Rikki is a graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans.  I haven’t seen the campus post Katrina & it was an honor to see the growth.  It was nice to see this HBCU thriving.

The plan was to hit the French Quarter but we didn’t know that this was the same weekend as the French Quarter Festival.  Traffic was a nightmare so we found a quaint café on St. Charles and enjoyed drinks & dinner.

Sunday was all about sisterhood. It was time to welcome Payton into the land of Alpha Kappa Alpha. Congratulations to the newest Sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Lambda Omicron Chapter.

Love these ladies of the Epsilon Tau Chapter of Xavier University. The true meaning of sisterhood. This is what 30 years of service to all mankind looks like.

After the luncheon we hit the road headed back to Memphis.  It was so nice to just get away if only for 48 hours. I realized as I was writing this post that Rikki & I never stopped to take a picture together. Guess that means that we were living in the moment.

I have one more planned road trip in June and I’m kind of looking forward to it. Meet me in St. Louis.

Who is ready to hit the road?

Belinda

Beewisdom-Louise, no matter what happens, I’m glad I came with you. (Thelma & Louise 1991)

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3 Lessons Learned In March

Hello Honeybees,

Spring has finally sprung!  Although it is an allergy nightmare I’m enjoying the nice weather. It will be hot soon enough. As we move into this new season I’m sharing the lessons that I learned in March.

Lesson 1

Life moves on with or without you.

Do you realize that Q1 is gone?  Remember the goals you set for 2017, yeah those…. Where are you? What have you accomplished?  You do realize that YOU have to put in the work. It’s not too late to start but you must start. Starting can be hard. The first step is always the hardest but if you want it is bad enough you will press go.

We have 3 more quarters to go..in my MARTIN voice….”Get ta steppin”

Lesson 2

Surround yourself with young minds.

It makes my heart happy when young women, the 30 somethings, think that I am close to their age.  This happens all the time and it makes me smile EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I love being around younger people. They challenge my thought process and they keep me in the know about what is happening. They inspire me to do more and be better. They make me feel that it’s never too late. Age is both mental and physical.

Lesson 3

Don’t believe the social media hype.

I know you’ve heard the saying “Everyone is not who they POST to be”.  We are human & we always want to show our best side. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s your page, wall, pic etc. It’s your right to pick and choose what you share. On the flip side, for those that are following it’s up to you to not buy into the hype. It’s ok to take some inspiration from your social media friends but it’s not ok to compare yourself to them. You are You and you should be the best you that you can be.

 

What did you learn in March?

Belinda 

Beewisdom- I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn- Maya Angelou

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The Photo Shoot

Hello Honeybees,

When you think of 50 what comes to mind? What does 50 look like to you? What do you think 50 feels like?

My tribe had a photo shoot on the mighty Mississippi this weekend to celebrate our year of 50.  Half the women is this picture have already hit the big 5-0 with the rest of us to follow.  I have been friends with some of these ladies since 6th grade.  Can you image having that kind of friendship? If you can’t you are missing out.  If you can then you know how amazing it feels to know that someone always has your back. 

When first presented with the idea not everyone was on board because not everyone was ready to flaunt their 50. Afterwards we were all happy that we could come together to mark the occasion.  We came together because we love, honor and respect each other. We have been through a lot of ups and downs TOGETHER. 

Our friendship is priceless.  Here are a few pictures that I had to make sure to share with the world.

If you ever want to know my secrets start with these two ladies. They know where ALL the bones are buried……. 

The University of Tennessee at Martin brought this crew together and we are still going strong. 

I present the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it:

Find your tribe and cherish every single moment!

You are only as young or old as you feel.

I’m giving a thumbs up to 50.  We feel great, we look good, and we are just beginning. There is so much more life to live for all of us and we plan to live it to the fullest.

I invite you to #FollowMeInto50 it’s gonna be a great time.

Belinda

Beewisdom- Cherish your yesterdays, dream your tomorrows and live your todays. ~ Anonymous

Photo Credit: Rod Kirby   www.RodKirby.com 

 

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Mindfulness

Hello Honeybees,

What does the word MINDFULNESS mean to you?

Last month I attended a seminar hosted by Methodist Lebonuer Hospital. The guest speaker was ABC news correspondent Dan Harris. Dan talked about the time he had a panic attack on live television. He had become so overwhelmed with life and work that his body, mind and spirit started to betray him. After seeking help for his panic attack Dan learned the importance of meditation. He shares his story in his book 10% Happier. It’s on my nightstand.  I’ll let you know what I think in a later post.

Most of us don’t reach our breaking point on national t.v. but we all can reach that breaking point. As I begin the next century of my life, yes I said next because I’m claiming 50 more years, I have a lot of moving pieces.  To help me cope with all of these moving parts I have started meditating.  I meditate in the mornings before I say my morning prayers.  I typically meditate before my morning prayers because it helps me to clear out all the thoughts that try to interrupt my quiet time. I can go to the Lord with a calm spirit ready to receive Him in. 

I use these apps to help me when I want a guided meditation.

I also like to do yoga. Yoga is a great way for me to relax, engage and exercise.  It is a great release. One of the best things about yoga to me is the community. Practicing yoga with a group brings about a sense of belonging & harmony. If you are looking for a yoga class in Memphis be sure to check out my friend Jackie O!

Jackie has several different way for you to connect on the mat:

Yoga 4 Life is a beginner-friendly class that nurtures the spirit, mind & body with a focus on mindful breathing, stretching, body awareness & relaxation. Each Wednesday, 6-7 pm at Co-Work Memphis, 902 Cooper St., 38104. Pay what you can love offering accepted. Sapphire Yogi Jackie O on Facebook for class & event updates. 

___________________________________________________________

Mindfulness – Knowing what’s going on in your head and not acting on it

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Yoga Honeys is a Memphis-based health & wellness group for women of color specializing in beginners yoga with a focus on restoration and healing. Monthly class & event schedule available on the Yoga Honeys Facebook page. Group is by membership request.

I encourage you to stop and take some time to center yourself. Take some time to connect with your inner you. Try meditating and or yoga. The results can be life changing. Your mind, body & spirit will thank you for it.

Namaste

Belinda 

Beewisdom- “In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.” ~Eckhart Tolle

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Open Mosque Day

Hello Honeybees,

It’s always a good idea to expand your knowledge about things that are different. I’m talking about people, places and things.  I’m so glad that I learned to not only seek diversity but to embrace it. I’m also glad that my children are able to do the same.

As part of his Bridge Builder experience my son choose to spend part of a Saturday morning learning about the Muslim faith and I was happy to accompany him.  This was the first time that I was able to share his Bridge Builder experience with him.

I am a Christian and have experienced several different forms of religious expression. My first church experience was as a member of the First Corinthian Baptist Church in Chicago, then the Catholic Church which is where I practiced most of my religion, in college I went back to the Baptist church then back to the Catholic Church where I was married.  I am now a member of the Disciples of Christ.

Having the chance to visit a Mosque was a learning experience for both of us. On the way home he said it best: we all believe in God but we just express it in different ways. I was so proud that he received that message. Spending the day learning about the Muslim faith, culture and customs was an experience that I will always remember.

Before our tour we put on shoe covers or you had the option to go without shoes

Wearing a Hijab, for modesty, was a new experience

This is where the men wash before prayer, the ladies had a separate area upstairs

Having the chance to ask questions was part of the activities

There was also food and drink.  I must say the tea was delicious

This year is the 15th Annual Muslims in Memphis Celebration.  There are planned activities & events all month.  To learn more you can visit www.MuslimsInMemphis.org .

I encourage you to get to know your neighbors. We all share this earth together.

Belinda 

Beewisdom- There is unity in diversity

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4 Lessons Learned in February

Hello Honeybees,

Last month I shared the lessons I learned in the month of January . Well I’m still learning and here are the lessons that I learned in February.

Lesson 1:

Your tribe is important

I have always known this but for 24 hours towards the end of the month I was in #Blackgirlmagic heaven. I spent Friday night happy hour with my high school tribe.  Our graduating class was small, 54 total I think, so it’s not unusual that lifetime bonds were formed.  Taking the time to actually sit still and enjoy a drink and a meal was just what we all needed. Saturday I had brunch with a new tribe. Getting like-minded women together to share, inspire, uplift and encourage one another is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Girl, get you a tribe!

ic-tribe

Lesson 2:

Don’t be shy about promoting yourself

It’s not easy for me to promote myself. I always feel a little, NO a lot of, awkwardness when I’m saying “look at me, look at me”! You would think that in order to blog & put myself out there that I wouldn’t have an issue with self-promotion. Believe me I am working SO HARD to move past this.  In order for me to take my blog to a certain level I’m going to have to be the first person to say “Look at me”. So if you get tired of seeing me or hearing about me…….that means I’m doing it right.

promote-yourself

 

Lesson 3:

Reading is fundamental

People, people, people…. PLEASE pick up a book!!!  It won’t bite, I promise you.  Try it…you might learn something.  Enough said.

books

 

Lesson 4:

Millennials, I truly love you guys but you WEAR. ME. OUT!

I say this jokingly but in all seriousness, they really do make me tired.  I truly enjoy the go getter spirit, ready to change the world, full of unique ideas, ready to get things done like yesterday. I do love it and them but man they make my head spin sometimes.  Millennials…it’s ok to stop & think before you act.  It’s ok to ask someone that has been there & done that. It’s ok that you didn’t that promotion in 6 weeks….who knows what week 7 has waiting for you.  Chill for a minute…please!!

mill-meme-copy

Bet you can’t wait for what happens in March

BelindaBee pic

Beewisdom- “It is not so much about what life hands you,                                                                                       but what you do with what you get.” –  Idowu Koyenikan

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#FollowMeInto50

Hello Honeybees,

followmeinto50

Remember when you were little & you thought your parents were old? But as you got older you began to change that tune. Both my parents died at relatively young ages. My dad was 32 & my mom was 54. I was only 10 when my dad passed & I never could understand why everyone kept saying how young he was. I mean really he was my dad AND he was 32….at 10 that seemed old to me. As I got older, got married & had my first son at 32 I truly realized just how young 32 was & is.

When my mom passed at 54 I had a much better understanding. I knew that 54 was still a young age in which to leave this earth. My mom had just started to live her life. She had just started to do the things that made her happy. She was just starting to spoil herself. She was getting ready to become a grandmother. She realized that all of the hard work & energy that she put into raising me was paying off. She was now “free” to be & do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. And guess what…I so enjoyed watching her do it!!

So today I celebrate on what would’ve been my moms 71st birthday I am embracing my journey in the 50 club! This year I am running into 50 like I ran into 21. I’m excited about what is to come. I have so many dreams & adventures that I am bubbling over with excitement. 50 is the new 50! I’m going to live my life out loud. I’m going to do what makes ME happy. I’m going to enjoy this life that I have been given.

Honeybee I'm back

I’m not going to into 50 alone…all of my 1967 babies are coming with me as we sashay into 50.  So I invite you to share your living out loud moments this year with the #FollowMeInto50. Let’s have some fun NOW! Don’t wait until it’s too late because we all know that tomorrow is not promised.

I plan to give 2017 all that I have & leave not a single thing on the table. Join me and #FollowMeInto50

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom-Live your life and forget your age

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Beware of Hole Punchers

Hello Honeybees,

We all have people in our lives that will try to steal our joy.  You know the people that will try to punch holes in your dreams or your godly assignment. I’m not talking about the people who will pull your coat tail when you are trying to do something wrong.  I’m talking about the people who will try to discourage you from living your dream, living your best life on your terms.

are-you-a-hole-puncher

Say you want to buy a new car. The hole puncher will give you 101 reasons why you shouldn’t. “What’s wrong with the car you have now?” “How can you afford that?”

You want to take an overseas trip. They will remind you over & over again about how unstable the world is. You might get stuck “over there” “You sure you want to go alone?”

You want to quit your job and start your own business. The hole puncher will give you every reason as to why you shouldn’t. “How will you pay your bills?”, ” What about your family”. Yes those are all very valid questions that any real friend will ask but the hole puncher won’t be satisfied when you give them answers. They will keep coming back & keep questioning your decision. They will try to plant that seed of doubt. 

When God gives you an assignment…. (taps mic….) IT. IS. FOR. YOU. NOT. FOR. THEM. 

dream-catcher

Get It!! That’s YOUR assignment. It’s for you and no one else. He gave it to you & he will give YOU the resources to handle it.  Not everyone will be on-board with your dream. Who you share your dream with is important. I am very careful with who I let into my vision circle. If I feel that you are going to be a hole puncher then you will find out about my plans after the fact. If you can’t be supportive then I don’t need the negativity.   

The next time someone tries to punch a hole in your dream…tell them to go punch a hole somewhere else because you are busy living.

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- Failure at some point in your life is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable.                                                                                                                                                        Joe Biden

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These Are My Confessions

Hello Honeybees,

confessions-pic

I grew up in the Catholic Church & attended Catholic schools from grades 1-12.  Going to confession was something that I remember doing at least twice a year.  When I was younger I would make up stuff for confession. How crazy is that. The only things that I had to confess would have been lying to my mother. Boring I know! I needed something more interesting so I made up stuff.  When I finally got to the point in my life where I really did have something to confess I was no longer a practicing Catholic. So now my confessions are just between me & God.

This is not going to be me sharing my dirty laundry with the world but rather a more humorous look at my life.

 Cue Usher………So here are my confessions…

giphy

I do not know how to grocery shop.  When I was married the mister did a much better job of this than me.  When I leave the grocery store I have all of these bags and still don’t have anything to eat for the week.  Just crazy and mad expensive, especially when I’m trying to feed two teenage boys.

I am an introvert most of the time.  I truly enjoy my own company. That comes from being an only child I guess.  I don’t like huge crowds.  They can be a bit overwhelming to me. I have not attended events because I know that there will be a crowd & just the thought of it takes away my joy. On the other side, being around people inspires me…truly special I know.


“CONFESSION IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL”


I despise being stuck in traffic. This is another reason that I don’t like big crowds. All of the traffic that comes with the event.  It’s really bad if I’m the driver.  My patience just cannot handle the sitting & barley moving. When I attend a Grizzles game I will leave before the crowd or wait until the crowd has moved on before I leave.

One last one… I don’t like mean people.  People who are not nice for no reason at all really irk me.  Life is too short to go out of your way to be mean. It’s not hard to be nice, really it’s not.  Being nice to others can only help to bring joy to your world.

So there you have it….my confessions. And I didn’t have to make them up.

What do you need to confess?  I’m listening

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom-Confession is good for the soul

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Lessons Learned

Hello Honeybees,

We are over one month into 2017.  This year I want to keep track of some of the random things that I have learned or relearned.  Sometimes you have to keep learning lessons before they really stick. Here are a few that really stood out in January.

always-a-lesson

Lesson 1

If can’t go to the party don’t complain when you aren’t invited to the party

FOMO is real.  I get it.  I too hate missing the party.

When my boys were younger there were so many things that I had to miss because as a single mother I had to use my babysitters wisely. It would always make me sad when I would see the pictures from events that I missed. Sometimes I would be invited & sometimes not, but what I realized was that if I had been invited I would not have been able to attend anyway.  So why get miffed about not being invited?  I’m in a place now where my children don’t require a babysitter so I get to decide if I want to attend an event or party. As my dear friend Peggy would always say….. “It’s gonna get better B, just hold on the boys will be big enough before you know it” and guess what…she was right.

Lesson 2

Sometimes it’s not the title but the person behind the title

President Barack Obama fist-bumps custodian Lawrence Lipscomb in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building following the opening session of the White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth, Dec. 3, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

President Barack Obama fist-bumps custodian Lawrence Lipscomb in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building following the opening session of the White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth, Dec. 3, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Everyone has a job title but what you make of that title is on you.  It doesn’t matter if your title is “intern” or “CEO” it’s the work that YOU put in that makes the difference. People will see the work that you do & will in turn treat you as such.  Carry yourself like a CEO and you will be treated like a CEO, no matter your title.  If you are the type of person that treats people differently according to their title then the problem might be you.

Lesson 3

Slow down & listen for Gods directions

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I have never been more in tune with Gods voice than I am right now.  I have finally learned that God doesn’t speak in some BIG BOOMING voice from the sky.  He speaks in a still quiet voice.  It’s up to me to listen. Yes, it takes time to learn this.  Believe me it didn’t happen overnight, it was a process. I had to learn the hard way. When I would do something that God told me not to do I would always wonder “what if I had listened”.  Trust, when you get tired of the bumps & bruises YOU WILL LISTEN.

I can only imagine what the month of February has to offer.

What lessons have you learned so far this year?

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- No regrets in life, just lessons learned

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Are You Playing Chess or Checkers?

Hello Honeybees,

Coming to Memphis as a child for my summer vacations holds many great memories for me. My cousins & I would have so much fun. It was during those vacations that my uncles taught us how to play checkers. It wasn’t a hard game to learn and only required a little strategy.  Collecting your opponents checkers to get to the other side so that your opponent could “king you”. All checkers carry the same weight until they reach the other side. Checkers is a relatively quick game. You could easily play a game while waiting on your table at Cracker Barrel.     You know you’ve done it!!

checkers-or-chess

Now Chess is on another level. Chess requires a lot of strategy and not all pieces are created equal. Chess is game that takes time, patients & skill. Chess players in general think 5 moves ahead while checkers is played in the moment.

So why am I talking about Chess & Checkers? Glad you asked…

These games got me to thinking about my goals and the action or inaction behind them.

Am I playing Chess or Checkers?

If I don’t have any action steps to help me reach my goals, I say its checkers.  Once I put action steps in place AND act on them….THEN I move into a game of Chess.

checker-piece

Which game are you playing?

Planning ahead means making an investment and commitment in your future. Without planning you are letting life happen to you. You are playing checkers.

We must be strategic in planning. We must plan 5 steps ahead.

chess-game

Today I challenge you to a game of Chess!!

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- Move in silence, only speak when it’s time to say CHECKMATE. Instagram UpscaleLuxury

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109 Years Of Sisterhood

Hello Honeybees,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year……..

alpha-kappa-alpha-sorority-inc-1

January 15, 1908 Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc was founded on the campus of Howard University.   Today we celebrate that 109 year legacy.  For 24 years it has been my pleasure to wear the Salmon Pink & Apple Green. It has been my pleasure to be of service to all mankind.

belinda_trudyMy first Boule in 2006 in Nashville, TN with Soror Trudy.

belinda-boule-20062006 Boule Nashville, TN

am-crossing-party2011 celebrating with my god daughter, Amber -BX, Lane College

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Founders Day celebration 2016

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2016 Boule Atlanta, GA

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2016 Enjoying Boule with my bestie Adrienne

Happy Founders Day to all of my oh so pretty Sorors.  May we continue to serve.

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- Envy the ivy

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Oh The Places You Will Go

Hello Honeybees,

I’ve been stung.…..by the travel bee!  I am so ready to take a trip but it must be on a plane because I hate long car rides.

bon-voyageThis year I added travel to my vision board. I almost didn’t add it because well….what if it happens?  What if I do get to travel like I want?  Sounds a little crazy I know.  To want something to manifest but at the same time scared that it actually will.  I struggled with adding travel because I thought of all the excuses that could get in the way…..

  • Where will I get the money?
  • Who will watch my boys?
  • How will they get to & from school?
  • Who will go with me? 
  • Where would I like to go?

As a single parent these are very valid questions.  As a believer these are excuses.  So I’m throwing away the excuses and getting my mind ready to travel.

Here are my top 4 and they all require a plane

PARIS, FRANCE

arc-de-triomphe

Paris has been on my wish list for the last 15 years.  I want to experience the food, culture and of course the fashion.  I want to take the touristy pic in front of the Eiffel Tower, eat at a sidewalk café, visit The Louvre and shop on The Avenue Champs Elysée.  “emmène moi a Paris” 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

sydney-opera-house

Since I was a little girl I have always wanted to visit Australia.  I think it started when I saw Australia on the map & it looked like an upside down USA.  After seeing a picture of the Sydney Opera House I was hooked. My wish is to one day ring in the New Year down under.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

new-york-objects

It’s been a while since I have been to the Big Apple and I am ready to go back.  My first trip was only 3 days but I would like to stay a little longer this time.  The same things that draw me to Paris draws me back to New York.  Well, not the sidewalk cafe but being a foodie in NYC…..works for me!

CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES/SAN FRANCISCO

cali-highway

I’ve never been to Cali.  I’ve been all around California but never ventured in.  L.A. would be my first choice and then San Francisco.  I want to experience the palm trees and beautiful weather.  Just basking in the West Coast life.  This would be strictly a site seeing trip.

Well, there you have it.  I’m manifesting some real travel for 2017.  Stay tuned! Arrivederci’

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- “It’s opener, out there, in the wide, open air.”  Dr. Seuss

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Be Intentional

Hello Honeybees,

It’s time for 2017.

New Year…..Who Dis?

At the end of every year we set goals, at least I hope we do, for the new year but are we being intentional about our goals?  Are we just putting stuff on paper or on social media just to say we did? Or are we truly setting goals?

be-intentional-header

I set goals last year but I didn’t accomplish all of them, some I knocked out the park, others not so much.  The ones that I didn’t accomplished was mainly because I was not being intentional about those goals. Yes, I created a vision board. I do one every year.  This year I created a brand new vision board. I started from scratch. I have been revamping my old vision board for the last 5 or so years. But  this year I’m being very intentional about my vision & goals for 2017 so a new board was needed.

One of my goals for 2016 was to face my fear of heights by riding the elevator at Bass Pro Shop up to the outlook.  I had an accountability partner who did her best to get me down there but it never quite worked out. Because I was very intentional about this goal I was still able to do something to help me face this fear. I walked across a bridge. Sometimes things don’t always work out the way that we plan but in the end they do work out.

Another goal was to get back to regular journaling and that I did. . But I also added a gratitude journal. I use to write things that I was grateful for in my journal but I decided that I wanted to be more intentional about being grateful so I started a gratitude journal.  Writing down the things that I am grateful for helps me to show God that I am grateful for all of that He provides. This also makes me see that I have a lot to be grateful for.  Once again I am being intentional about showing gratitude.

So as you set goals for the New Year start by being intentional about those goals.  Ask yourself what value will this goal will bring to your life. Once you set your goals don’t let anything get in your way.

Happy 2017!!!

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom-“When your intentions are pure, so too will be your success”-Charles F. Glassman

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Merry Christmas

Hello Honeybees,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. Not because of the presents but because of all the celebrations that happen.  Between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas day we are invited to numerous parties, whether it’s for a work or play.  It’s a time to enjoy those around us, dress up in ugly sweaters or sparkle in glitter.  Sip on loaded eggnog or unloaded Christmas punch. It’s a time to eat without the guilt…or so we tell ourselves.

black-santa

As my sons have gotten older some of the child like whimsy of Christmas has changed.  No more leaving out cookies for Santa, No more putting together toys Christmas Eve, No more waking up at the crack of dawn to excited children. But that’s ok because my sons now understand the true meaning of Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus. They understand that it is a time to acknowledge the baby that was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  Don’t get me wrong my sons still want gifts but they understand that the gifts under the tree are not a given but are truly a GIFT.

rm-christmas

I pray that you & your family spend some quality time remembering the reason for this season. I pray that we teach our future generations that this season is not all about receiving but about giving.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- The only real blind person at Christmas-time is he who has not Christmas in his heart.   Helen Keller

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I’ve Got The Blues

Hello Honeybees,

I think….  No, I know that I am having a bout of the winter blues. 

Yes, there is such a thing as the winter blues. Even though it’s not officially winter… it’s dark AND cold…. So to my body It’s Winter!

winter-pic

Two weeks ago I was so full of energy. So much so that I attended 3, YES 3, events in one week. For those that know me, you know that me getting out of the house 3 nights in a row is unheard of. But since then I haven’t had the energy to go anywhere or do anything extra. It’s work & home.

There is a medical term for the winter blues.  It’s called SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Technically the Winter Blues is a mild form of SAD.  The good thing is that I recognize that something is wrong and I can take the needed steps to get back on track. I’m going to deal with this head on. 

Some symptoms of the winter blues include: Significant, lasting, downturn of mood, less energy, fatigue, craving for carbs (potatoes are my friend), less interest in being around other people, less interest in activities that you use to like. What makes the winter blues different than SAD is that these feelings go away in the Spring and Summer.  Between 10-20% of Americans may suffer from mild symptoms associated with the winter blues. SAD has been linked to a biochemical imbalance brought on by the shortening of daylight hours and a lack of sunlight in winter. 

So now what?  How do I get over the winter blues?

  • Expose yourself to light
  • Keep a regular routine/schedule
  • Have a regular pattern of sleep; get enough sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Do fun things
  • Eat in a healthy way; avoid overeating

https://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/studentlife/counselingcenter/infosheets/winterblues.html

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I am determined to NOT let the winter blues get the best of me. I’m going to get out this weekend to hang with some blogger friends and set my goals for 2017.  I AM READY FOR SPRING!!

BelindaBee pic

How do you deal with the winter blues?

Beewisdom- Keep calm and pretend you are on the beach

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Be Amazing

Hello Honeybees,

Sometime last year on one of my thrifting adventures I came across a sweater that spoke to me. Literally!  The sweater said BE AMAZING.  I think I paid maybe $4 for the sweater and I will say that it is the best $4 to ever leave my wallet.  I wear this sweater when I need to encourage myself.  It’s like my power sweater. It’s like striking the Wonder Woman pose in the mirror. It’s my reminder to BE AMAZING.

belinda-be-amazing

Recently I was giving a presentation to a room full of high school girls. Usually I wear my work polo but on this day for some reason I felt that I needed a little extra encouragement.  So I pulled out my power sweater.

I was standing at the door as the girls were entering the room. Totally in prep mode, forgetting all about the sweater UNTIL… one of the students read my sweater out loud and smiled. I smiled back letting her know that I heard her.  Another young lady was talking to her friend and said, I want a sweater like that. My response to her… Yes because you are amazing.

So here I am standing in front of 50 teenage girls and the whole time they got to stare at the words BE AMAZING.

After leaving the school I ran some errands and in each place someone made a comment about my sweater. People of all races, male & female.  One brother asked me where I got my sweater. I told him that I thrifted it but the look on his face let me know to further explain. So I just said, Old Navy. And no he wasn’t trying to hit on me. He was truly asking like he wanted to find one for his special person.

Who knew that a $4 sweater would not only encourage me but also those with whom I come in contact? It doesn’t always take a lot to make a difference.  Sometimes all it takes is a $4 sweater that simply says……..BE AMAZING!!!

BelindaBee pic

Beewisdom- Be Amazing, I Dare You!!

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Giving Thanks

Hello Honeybees,

Today is the day that we set aside time with family to give THANKS.  I would like to think that we give thanks everyday and that we gather with our families on the regular. I would like to think that the only thing that makes today different is that it’s a Thursday.   

These last few months there has been so much sadness. I lost a cousin, a friend lost a spouse and another friend also lost a cousin. When we celebrated Thanksgiving 2015 we had no idea that they would not be with us. So this year I am especially thankful for my family. 

little-pumpkinis-on-the-way

A few members of my work team showed me the true meaning of being grateful. I was so moved by their actions that I  know that it was nothing but God speaking to me. He was telling me to be grateful for the little because He has so much more.

So today as I gather with my family and you gather with yours be grateful and thankful that you have them.  This year celebrate LIFE.

One more thing……. I’m also grateful for YOU!!! Thank you for visiting & sharing in my space. I do not take you or your time for granted.  Many blessings to you & our family.

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart-Seneca

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Women Helping Women

Hello Honeybees,

When I was looking to shift into the nonprofit field I knew that I wanted to do something to help women and or children. I was blessed enough to be able to do just that.  Not only does my work involve women and the planning of children but my life outside of work does too.  In the last four weeks I have been involved in causes that positively affect the women of Memphis & Shelby County.

invites

Dress For Success Memphis        The Little Black Dress Event

This was my first year attending The Little Black Dress Event but it was also one of my first duties as a board member. The event was held at the beautiful Memphis Botanic Garden. This is one of the signature fundraising events for Dress For Success Memphis.  We were graced by the beautiful voice of Ms. Wyndie Oh & dined on some awesomely delicious food.  The night was great until I was outbid on an auction item….got to move faster next time.

belinda_pat

wyndieo

Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis    Power of the Purse Auction

This was my third year attending the Power of the Purse Auction.  My first year I was a guest, the second year I was a volunteer. This year I was a member of the host committee. Held at The University Club this auction was every woman’s dream. Everything from purses, shoes, jewelry, wine, art, spa packages to sports packages and more. There was even a special visit from the Glamorous Life girl herself, Ms Shelia E.

pop-auction-items

 

shelia-e

A Step Ahead Foundation            Fifth Anniversary Celebration & Holiday Bazaar

I have worked at A Step Ahead for 4 years and it has changed my life. To know that the work that you do every day is helping to make a difference in the lives of women, especially young women is pretty good. We celebrated for two days.  Friday night was our anniversary celebration. Being decked out in our cocktail attire we sampled some of the best food in the city, enjoyed our signature LARCtini cocktail, shopped with vendors and auctioned a painting by local artist Jimpsie Ayers. On Saturday we had our annual holiday bazaar. Food trucks, vendors, a bouncy house & face painting for the kids. Both events were held at Lindenwood Christian Church.

asaf-anniversary-pic

ASAF Photo Credit: http://rogercotton.com/

asaf-scholarship-pic

I encourage you to visit the website for each of these wonderful organizations.  They along with many others are doing some great work for women in Memphis.  Don’t sit on the sidelines, help to make a difference in the 901.

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.  Booker T. Washington

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Middle Finger Up

Hello Honeybees,

On Sunday I gave fear the middle finger….like Beyonce said, sort of…. “Middle finger up, tell it….fear bye”

victory-pic

Those that are close to me know that I have a fear of heights and water.  My fear of water is not that bad. I’m only afraid of water when it comes above my waist. My fear of heights is very real. Let’s just say climbing a ladder is a no-no.  So imagine me walking across a bridge over the Mississippi bridge.

big-river-entrance-sign

Yep, I walked across the Harahan Pedestrian Bridge now known as Big River Crossing.  It’s a mile long bridge that connects Tennessee & Arkansas.  The train still runs alongside the walking trail. Which is what happened while I walked across the bridge.

begining-of-the-trek

The views from the bridge are AH-Mazing.  I actually stopped to take a picture. I looked down only once because once was truly enough. And I didn’t want to freeze in the middle of the bridge.

view-of-bridge-from-the-bridge

Although conquering this particular fear was not on my #YearOfYes list I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try. I am determined to not let fear get the best of me.  If I did I would be missing out on some of the best times in life.

shadows

I didn’t take this walk alone. The ladies that I walked with were so encouraging and supportive. They also shared some very important life lessons. Lessons that I will take to heart.

group-pic

Ladies I thank you for the welcome spirit and shared wisdom.

2016 is almost over and yes there are still fears to conquer and guess what……I’m ready.

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.  Japanese Proverb

 

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Memphis Blogger Meet Up

Hello Honeybees,

Friday night I attended the first meet up of Memphis Blogger Mastermind Group (MBMG).  MBMG is a network of like-minded creatives who are passionate about sharing ideas with the world. Since I’ve been blogging I have always admired how bloggers in other cities were able to come together to share and network. Well we can now add Memphis to the list.

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pa-desert-tray

The meet up was held at The Lab-Memphis Fashion Week.  This is such a creative space.  If you are into fashion or design this is the place for you.  Drop by for a visit. You will not be disappointed.

fashion-lab

memphis-fashion-week-sign

Being able to hear from “The Real Life Willy Wonka”, Chef Phillip Ashley was a perfect addition to the meet up. The lessons, experience and advice were memorable. Sampling his chocolate creations was icing on the cake.
me-pa

A special thank you  https://blueprintblackink.com/ for taking the lead and bringing us all together.

mbmg-pic

 

If you would like to join us for the next Memphis Blogger Meet Up you can send your information to info.memphisblogger@gmail.com.

Hope to see you next time.

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- Blogging requires passion!!

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The F Word

Hello Honeybees,

I am afraid!

What am I afraid of?

I am afraid to FAIL!!!

We all have a fear of something and I think that’s ok but what I don’t think is ok is letting that fear stop you.  And that’s what I have been doing.

fear-quote

Yes, I admit it.  I am letting this fear stop me from moving forward. But recently God has been putting me in situations that are making me confront that fear.  I can’t deny it, I can’t hide from it or run from it.  If I want to move forward I have to just do it!  This fear is a stumbling block in my career.

So I am doing it.  I am confronting my fear.  I started with baby steps.  I dipped my toe in the water. I’m not sure of the outcome yet but no matter what it is I took the first step. Yep, I am so proud of myself.

I recently saw this video clip and it made me look at my fear of failure in a different way.  The thing that caught my attention was reframing what failure meant.  The failure is in the NOT TRYING versus the outcome.

How powerful is that!

Those words made me reflect on what has been happening in the last couple of weeks.  How I have been forced to face this fear.

What’s crazy is that I tell my sons all the time that they HAVE TO TRY but guess what???  I am NOT practicing what I preach or rather I wasn’t practicing what I preached.   I’m over my initial fear, I took the first step. I think I’m ready to start walking & before you know it I’ll be running.

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- The fears we don’t face become our limits

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Happiness or Success

Hello Honeybees,

I have been debating this question: What do I want more out of life happiness or success?

Is this an either or?

Can I not have both?

IF I HAD to choose between the two I would choose HAPPINESS.

Success does not guarantee happiness!  You can be successful at a lot of things but they might not make you happy.  There are a lot of people that are extremely successful in their chosen career but are not happy at all. The money is good and the title is impressive but happy…NOPE.   You might be successful in college, making the grades, but you might not be happy. We all know someone who graduated from college but are not happy because they picked a safe major. You know the major that would ensure that they found a “good job” after graduation but it stifled their natural creativity.

When I think of happiness I think of people, places and things that put a smile on my face People, places and things that make my heart all warm and fuzzy.

happy-face

For me happiness is seeing my children smile, or when they give me a hug & say I Love You.  Happiness is having a career that lets me make a difference in the community.  Happiness is knowing that I am blessed.  Happiness is having an amazing support system of family & friends.

So YES I choose Happiness over Success and guess what…..

That makes ME happy

What makes you happy?

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom-Happiness is the highest level of success-author unknown

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It’s 901 in the 901

Hello Honeybees,

It’s September 1st in Memphis or 901 Day!

I love the city of Memphis.  I love the big city with the small town feel.  Everybody knows everybody.  Everybody is related to everybody.  We all have more cousins than we know what to do with. You know, those random people that show up to the family reunion that no one can really place.  We all have them….if you don’t then YOU might be that person.

I love the neighborhood pride. I love that Orange Mound is a city within a city. I love that no one can tell me exactly where South Memphis starts and stops.  Believe me it changes depending on who you ask.

I love the high school pride. I’m not even gonna get into who was or is the best. Nope, not touching that one with a ten foot pole.

901 Day

I love the food. Nope, I’m not a big barbque fan but there are so many other good eats to be had in Memphis.  Fried chicken and Fish, Peach Cobbler, Greens, you get the picture.

I love the music. Blues, Jazz, Hip Hop, Rap, R&B…you name it we got it.

I love the friendliness of the people. I love the “yes ma’am” , “no ma’am”.  Although I try to tell young people that it’s not necessary to address me as such, I respect the fact that they still try.

I love that we have our own language…aint it mane.

I love the there are so many outdoor spaces to exercise, IF you can stand the heat. I can’t wait to get back to Shelby Farms. I still have not tried the Greenline and shame on me for that.

I love that there are so many volunteer opportunities and people actually volunteer. Memphis is such a giving city.  Put out the call and people will answer.

There are so many places in Memphis that I have yet to see and so many things that I have to do. But I know that wherever I go and whatever I do, I will find a long lost cousin who is repping their hood.  They will offer me a plate and ask where I went to high school.  This will start a long conversation. One that I will enjoy having.

I love my city!!!!

How are you celebrating 901?

BelindaBee pic

Beewisdom- This is Memphis…We GRIND here!

 

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Bridge Builder For A Day

Hello Honeybees,

This past weekend I had a chance to experience what it feels like to be a Bridge Builder. 

What is a Bridge Builder?   Well I’m glad you asked.

Bridge Builders is one of the many programs offered at Bridges.  Bridges is a nonprofit that brings together diverse youth from all backgrounds across the Greater Memphis area and transform them into confident and courageous leaders.

Bridges Logo

The Bridge Builder program allows students to attend a week-long summer conference followed by monthly events throughout the school year.  As a Bridge Builder, students are empowered to apply what they have learned to improve their neighborhoods, schools and communities.

Group Pic

My son has been a Bridge Builder for 5 years.  I had a vague understanding of what the summer conference was like. But the time spent at Bridges was eye opening. During his junior & senior year he spent a week away from home for each conference.  On Saturday I spent 3 hours doing only a fraction of what happens during conference. One of the best parts of the day was meeting and working with other parents.

Mothers Pic

We performed team building activities and after each activity we had a “debrief”.  The debrief was very telling. We explained what we did, what we learned and how can we take those lessons back to our community or work.  I can only imagine how teenagers express what they learned.  Our group leaders were super cool.  They just spent the summer working with young people & now they had to switch to adults. They handled it like the professionals that they are.

The Maze

 

Little Tea Pot

This is me leading our group in “I’m A Little Tea Pot”.  I can’t believe that I actually remembered the song AND the moves.

I REALLY wanted to climb the rock wall but unfortunately the rock wall was not one of our activities.  But Bridges does have open rock climbing days and they also have an outdoor wall.  So NO EXCUSES!!! 

Rock Wall

If you ever need a place for team building Bridges is the place.  If you have a student in grades 6-12 this is a great live changing opportunity for them.                                             For more information visit http://bridgesusa.org/

Who wants to climb the rock wall with me?  Let me know?

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- You must be the change you wish to see in the world-Mahatma Gandhi

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Stay on YOUR Game

Hello Honeybees,

I have really enjoyed watching the Rio Olympics.  So much drama, so much happiness, so much teamwork, so much patriotism and for the US Olympic team so much GOLD. 28 as I right this post.  One thing that I have learned from watching all of the athletes is how focused they are. These athletes didn’t just wake up last week or last month and decide that they were going to compete in the Olympics, they have put in years of hard work and dedication. 

Here is the lesson that I am taking away from these games.

Stay focused on YOUR game.

If I want to accomplish my goals I have to stay focused on ME.  I can’t worry about what the other person is doing.  When I start worrying about them that’s when I start losing focus. I’m only slowing down my progress. That’s wasted energy.

Phelps

You have to plan your work and work your plan. 

Sometimes we get so competitive that we spend all our time trying to figure out what the other person is doing so that we can get a leg up.  But what we are missing is that the other person is focused on their own goals and moving forward.  They aren’t wasting their time or talent on you and your actions.  So now who is moving forward and who is standing still?

The only person i compare myself to is myself.

Stop looking back!

Look forward!

Move forward!

Go for YOUR gold!

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps, I’m the first Simone Biles.”

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Summer 2016

Hello Honeybees,

As we get ready to kick off the 2016-2017 school year I wanted to give you a glimpse into my summer. Some of the plans that I had didn’t happen because the 8 weeks of summer flew by so quick.  Between my activities and the boys activities two months just wasn’t enough time.  I hope to still accomplish some of our plans before winter.

My oldest son will start his senior year of high school. I’m both excited and scared.  This milestone really hit me when he took his senior pictures. Ironically he took his picture at the same place that I took mine.

Rob cap & gown

This was also his last summer conference with Bridge Builders.  He started Bridge Builders as a rising 9th grader. To say that we love and have enjoyed the Bridge Builder experience is an understatement.  This week gave us a preview of what will happen when he leaves for college. http://www.bridgesusa.org

Rob cabin

After Robert’s week away from home my youngest spent the next week at Honors Camp at the University of Memphis.  He had the chance to interact with students and teachers from around the city. One of the things he liked most was seeing the different and innovative teaching styles of other teachers.   http://www.scsk12.org
Honors Camp

The boys had the month of June but July belonged to momma.  I was able to attend the 67th Boule’ of my beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. in Atlanta.  This was such an amazing experience. Can you imagine 22,000 beautiful women in all their pink & green glory? Well I didn’t have to imagine it, I lived it. http://www.aka1908.com

AKA Rose wall (1) Boule sign with me Boule signage AKA Toyota

After Boule’ I celebrated birthday 49. I had a nice quiet birthday at home but watch out for the big 5-0.  There will be nothing quiet about it.  I’m thinking Vegas baby!!

Happy Bday Heart

Summertime at work was busy too.  I had 5 of the world’s best interns.  They came ready to slay and slay they did.  I will miss them when they leave me but Memphis is so lucky to have them. They represented University of Memphis, LeMoyne-Owen College & Rhodes College. http://www.astepaheadfoundation.org

Interns 1 ASAF Ballons

I am so ready for Fall, my favorite season, and hopefully some cooler temps in the Mtown. 

Belinda Bee pic

How was your Summer 2016?

Beewisdom- Summer should get a speeding ticket- Unknown

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National Girlfriends Day

Hello Honeybees,

Monday August 1st is National Girlfriends Day. Really everyday should be a celebration of great friendships.

I am so blessed to have such an amazing group of women in my girlfriend circle.  Some have been friends since 6th grade and others at different points in my life.  No matter when these women came into my life they ALL have a special place in my heart.

So when Monday comes reach out to your girls and let them know how grateful you are to have them in your corner.

Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of me & all of my girlfriends but here are some of the women that I call FRIEND.

This crew met in 1985 at the University of Tennessee at Martin. We were given the name “Wolfpack” because we hung tight….then and now. Pictured from top to bottom. Velma, Adrienne, Cheryl, Me, Audrey

A & BAdrienne & I met in 9th grade homeroom at Immaculate Conception High School of Girls. To say this that this is my “ride or die” is an understatement. We have been through it all TOGETHER!!!

Rikki, Carol

More IC family, I met Carol in the 9th grade & Rikki in the 6th grade at St. Joseph. The ups & downs of life can’t keep us apart.

Boule

My crafty girlfriend and fellow cancer, Michelle.  We met in the 6th grade and lived in the same neighborhood.

Tip

My little sister Stephanie. Although she is Michelle’s biological sister I claim her as mine.

Kym

UT Martin was good to me. Ponsella & I met at UTM. Although separated by a lot of miles we find a way to stay connected.

Miska

New Memphis Institute brought Miska & I together (S09) and the support and encouragement never stops.

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Andrea & I met at Memphis State University, since then we graduated together, worked together, pledged together and serve the community together.

Jackie & Me

Jackie and I met through a mutual friend and our friendship has continued to grow. She is also my favorite Yogi…..Namaste 

BWB.SOLast but certainly not least….Summer.  Believe it or not Facebook brought us together. That’s a blog post all by itself.  This lady keeps me inspired and believing for a better life.

HAPPY GIRLFRIENDS DAY!!!!!

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom-A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out

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Loving The Skin I’m In

Hello Honeybees,

As some of you might know I am a contributor for Memphis Moms Blog and a few month ago some of us participated in a swimsuit photo shoot. When asked I jumped at the chance to participate.

Why did I do it?

Because this is MY YEAR OF YES!!

This is the year that I say YES to what scares me.

This is the year that I say YES to new adventures.

This is the year that I step out of my comfort zone.

For most of my life I have had a weight problem… I was always underweight. 

Some people might say that’s not a real problem but to me it was.  See, when I was growing up it wasn’t “cute” to be skinny like it is today.  Finding clothes in a size zero was almost impossible. Yes I said zero.  I was what you would call a bean pole, straight up & down and not a curve to be found.  Yes, I was ashamed of my body.  When people say that they want to be “high school fine” I say no way.  I was nowhere near “high school fine”

1985

1985

When I got married at 28 I was only 100 lbs.  It wasn’t until after I had my second child at 34 that I was able to maintain what I called a decent weight. As with all things you have to learn to maintain once you reach your goal weight.  That part is still a learning curve for me.  I have now entered year 49 and the metabolism is not what it use to be.  I have to watch what I eat and force myself to exercise. I’m still not exercising like I need to but it’s coming.  Now I have curves that I have NEVER had.  Some I wouldn’t mind shifting to other areas. I am loving my “woman” curves.  I would take my 49 year old body over my 18 year old body any day.

2016

2016

I said all that to say this….. I am so proud of where I am with feeling confident with my body. Do I feel this confidence every day?  NOPE, but I have more great days than not so great days.  Do I still have work to do? You bet. But I’m going to enjoy the ME that I have become!

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

So ladies, enjoy the body that you have.  If YOU don’t like it do something about it.  If YOU are happy with it than STRUT YOUR STUFF LIKE ONLY YOU CAN.  

You can find the swimsuit pics here http://www.memphismomsblog.com.  Enjoy!!!

Belinda Bee pic

Are you loving you? If not then who will?

Beewisdom- If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good–Dr. Seuss

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Chapters

Hello Honeybees,

This month I have the privilege of completing chapter 1 of BloggingWithBee and starting Chapter 2

This month I will finish chapter 48 of my life and start chapter 49

This month I will start chapter 4 of my nonprofit career

Next month I will start writing chapter 17 of parenthood

This year I started writing chapter 9 of being single again

So many chapters in just one book but this is the book that I only get to co-author. God is the author of  the book of my life.  He writes the stories and uses me to bring them to life.  So maybe I’m not the co-author but I am the main character.

book pic 1

I learned somewhere around chapter 39 or 40 to stop comparing my book to someone else’s book.  We ALL have our own book.  My book is being written JUST FOR ME. Sometimes I slip up and start comparing, I’m human and not perfect, but I have learned to adjust my thoughts and keep turning the pages of my OWN book.

My chapter 49 will not look like your chapter 49.

My chapter 21 didn’t look like your chapter 21.

book pic 3

I am so in love with the book that is being written about my life.  It has all kinds of plot twist and surprises. I mean A LOT of surprises. This book can be a comedy, a drama or action packed.  Either way I can’t put it down.  This book has my attention every day, all day. 

Even though I am the star of this book, I have no idea what comes next.  I have made suggestions to the author but I know that His plans are so much better than mine.

I hope that my book has at least 99 chapters.  99 chapters that will keep me turning pages unable to put the book down.   

Watch out chapter 49 I can’t wait to read you!

BelindaBee pic

What is your favorite chapter?

Beewisdom-In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back- Charlie Brown

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Ask The Author Series

Hello Honeybees,

I’m starting a new series called Ask The Author.  

My first author is none other than Ms. Summer Owens.  Summer is the author of Life After Birth.  In her book debut Summer shares her story of going from a teenage mother to a successful entrepreneur.

Summer book image

I encourage you to pick up a copy of Summer’s book.  There is a lesson for everyone in the book no matter your age or situation.  Meet Summer….

Blogging With Bee: What inspired you to write Life After Birth?

Summer Owens:   From the time I became a mother at 15, I was solely focused on “making it”. I wanted to be able to provide a good life for my son and for myself free of dependence on others or welfare. From that time until a few years before publishing my first book, I was simultaneously a mother, a student, and an employee often taking on extra responsibilities in each of those roles. By the time I had earned my MBA and worked at three amazing companies where I risen through the ranks and was earning a very comfortable salary and had checked “student” of the list for me, I felt like I had finally “made it.” My son was a teenager and more independent, and I recognized that others, especially men, could—and need to—teach him more than I could. That’s when I began to look outside of myself and my own situation.

I knew that I needed others to share their lives with my son so I believed I had the same responsibility—to share. When I was in college, I was always asked by students and even professors, “How do you do it?”.  Because I was a student leader, people saw me in class, in meetings, and events and often my son was by my side. People also knew I had high academic standards and also an internship. My response to their question was, “I don’t have time to think about how I do it. I only have time to do it.”

When I was no longer working 60 plus hours a week and also going to school while being a single mom, I decided to give my “how” some thought. At the same time, I realized how big of an issue teen pregnancy was in my community, and I wanted to offer hope and direction to teen moms to show them that they could not just survive, but that they could thrive even as teen moms. I also wanted to help other youth understand how I put myself in a dangerous situation that led to me becoming a teen mother and that it could easily happen to them too.

BWB: Were you scared about what people would think?

S.O:   I was extremely nervous about what people would think. You know the feeling when you write a paper for a class and are nervous that you might get it back with red marks all over it? I felt that times ten at least because this was an entire book. However, much scarier than that was the fact that this book was about my life and some very, very personal aspects of my life. I felt like I was standing completely naked on a stage before the world waiting to see if they would boo me, turn their heads in disgusts, or applaud my bravery. Although I have had some challenges and some significant people not to support me sharing my story, fortunately for me, most people did the latter.

BWB:  How have you changed as a person since writing Life After Birth?

S.O.:  I wouldn’t say that Writing Life After Birth has changed me as person because I have always been extremely driven and I became extremely open before publishing the book. However, writing the book did change my life.

Prior to publishing it, I enjoyed a very successful and very comfortable career in Corporate America. After telling my story, I was invited to speak all over the country. Although I was, and still am, shy, I was excited about sharing my story to encourage others to live their best lives in spite of any challenges they face. After three years of balancing my corporate job and my new speaking career (and being a single mother), I decided to devote my time fully to the new speaking and educational business, S.O. What!, as well as the nonprofit business, the S.O. What! Foundation, I had started. Even in the job I loved, nothing was more fulfilling than what I was blessed to be able to do through my own businesses. After leaving my corporate job, I began teaching marketing at my alma mater. Three years later, I was asked to create my own life skills course, and my book is the required text for the class!  I never desired to me an entrepreneur and never imagined this path for my life, but now I am and enjoy all the benefits and challenges entrepreneurs experience. My salary is currently much less, but I couldn’t be any richer!

BWB: What do want others to gain from reading Life After Birth?

S.O.: I have truly been blessed by the many lessons people of so many various backgrounds have shared with me. From 5th grade through high school boys and girls who read the book and follow the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum to single mothers and fathers and even young professionals, the overwhelming take away is that life is full of choices. Do your best to minimize the poor choices, and no matter what choices you make and obstacles you face you can overcome them to live your best life.

Summer speaking

BWB: If you had to do it over again would you still write the book?

S.O.: Because of some of the personal challenges I’ve had from sharing my story, I once often asked myself this question. Because of the many stories and thank-you’s I’ve gotten about how my book saved or changed their lives, I believe that I was SUPPOSED to write this book. Writing this book gave my life and the many challenges I’ve endured true purpose that is so much bigger than me. And I’m thankful for that.

BWB: When do we get another book?  

S.O.: Good question. It is in the works though. I am still working on several projects around the first book including new and enhanced versions of the accompanying curriculum. Also, I want to make sure I time the release of the next book at the right time for my life and for others included in my story. But I definitely have much more to say. SO many more lessons learned and SO much more to share to hopefully encourage, educate, and inspire others and to let them know they are not alone and can get through “it”…whatever their “it” is.

BWB: What’s next for you?

S.O.: My main focus is increasing use of the S.O. What! curriculum in schools, youth programs, and community centers. The impact it has had on kids has been amazing, and I just want more kids and young adults across the country to get exposed to it. I plan to continue speaking at as many schools, colleges, churches, and wherever any encouraging word is needed as possible too.

And because it’s just how my life goes, I honestly don’t know what is next for me. But I’m sure it includes some major challenges and some major blessings though. My life has been a roller coaster, and I stay ready for the next go round!

Summer candid

For a copy of Life After Birth click here   http://sowhat.storenvy.com/collections/109510-all-products/products/568150-autographed-copy-of-life-after-birth-a-memoir-of-survival-and-success-as-a   You will not be disappointed.

Thank you Summer for sharing.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom-  Success comes in cans not can’ts

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Thrift Tips

Hello Honeybees,

This year I have been really frugal with my coins when it comes to shopping.  Now that’s not to say that I haven’t bought anything but I’ve just been very purposeful in what I buy.  To ease my shopping urges….I thrift.

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This #OOTD was under $15

Tank – Target on clearance $3

Matching Skirt & Sweater- Goodwill $7.50

Necklace- Outlet Mall Destin, FL $3

IMG_3398 (2)

Here are some of MY favorite thrifting tips.

These tips make thrifting a fun shopping experience

I shop in the men’s section for shirts & sweaters

  • Don’t only shop in your size. Things will get all mixed up so shop the whole section, shop the whole store.
  • I shop year round. Yes I buy sweaters in July & tank tops in December.
  • If you see something you like put it in your cart, it will be gone if you don’t. Believe it or not people watch each other.
  • First, know your brands…Some brands I will not thrift. Mainly because I still don’t think it’s worth it and because it was probably on clearance at some point for cheaper than what I’m paying.  Also, how much longer will it hold up?
  • Second, know your brands…some designer brands will automatically grab my attention. If it’s a good brand, I know that it has the potential to last.  This is definitely quality or quantity.
  • Shop during off hours. I like to shop during the week when the store first opens.  There is less traffic and more room to move around.
  • Patience is a virtue. Take your time.
  • Dress for the occasion. T shirt & leggings are a must & slip on shoes.  My naked feet can NOT touch the floor.  And not all stores have dressing rooms so you might have to try on in the aisles.
  • I TRY to have a list but I’m not good at sticking to it. A piece really has to move me for me to buy it.
  • If it doesn’t fit…walk away. If you know that you are NOT good at getting things tailored or mended don’t buy it.  (raises hand)  You’ll just have more clutter in your closet.
  • This should be a given but…. WASH BEFORE YOU WEAR

Belinda Bee pic

Where do you like to thrift?

Beewisdom-   Thrifting: An Economical way to find fashion treasures

Photo credit: Nikki Gibbs

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A Letter To My Father

Dear Daddy,

In a few days we will celebrate Father’s Day. Not only is June the month that we celebrate Father’s Day it’s also your birthday month.   I am so proud to be your daughter.  Although we only had ten years together, those were some of my best childhood memories. They helped to shape the woman that I am.

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I remember every Friday you would pick me up from school and we would go to the record store.  You would let me pick out two 45’s.  I couldn’t wait to get home to play them on the record player.  Every Saturday morning you would play the blues while working around the house.  Thanks for introducing me to B.B. King, Johnny Taylor, Bobby Blue Bland and The O’Jays.

I remember you giving me my love of sports.  We would watch baseball, basketball, football and boxing. Our last Christmas together you gave me an autographed Dr. J basketball. I returned that gift to you by asking that they put the basketball in the casket with you.  Although the love for all sports didn’t stick, I’m not a fan of baseball & boxing but football and basketball held on tight. Thank you for introducing me to Kareem, Dr. J, Muhammad Ali, and Walter Payton.

I remember you sharing your love for learning and the importance of an education.  Although you never attended college you made sure that I would.  We always discussed how I would one day go to college. At age 7 you made me promise that I would go to college and in return you would buy me a car.  Unfortunately you weren’t able to be here to see your baby graduate from college not once but twice. Thank you for introducing me to the power of education.

I remember how you treated my mother.  I saw the power of love.  I saw how a man should treat his wife. I saw the sly smiles & glances.  The loving touches.  The snuggles on the couch when you thought I was sleep. I never had to contend with arguing & fighting.  I know there is no such thing as a perfect marriage and that couples fight but you never let me see that. Because of your example I learned not to settle for anything less. Thank you for showing me what a husband should be.   

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I remember you helping other family members.  You made sure that others had birthday and Christmas presents just like I did.  I remember you & my mother taking off work at the last minute to go Christmas shopping.  I was not happy that I had to go to school that day but it proved to be so important. That would be your last Christmas with us. Thank you for being my Santa Claus.

There are so many more memories that I keep in my heart. Although you are not here in person your spirit is still with me. Sometimes when I look at my oldest son, your namesake Robert, I clearly see you.  He has your heart and that makes my heart happy.

Thank you for the examples.  I love you and I miss you. 

Your daughter,

BB Bee pic

Beewisdom-  My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me  Jimmy Valvano (Jimmy V)

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Why Are You Still Sitting?

Hello Honeybees,

Have you ever watched someone leave a job and wonder how they got the nerve to take that leap of faith? 

Have you ever watch someone start a business and wonder, “How did they do that”?

Have you ever sat on the sideline and watched someone else chase their dream?

My question to you is WHY ARE YOU WONDERING AND JUST WATCHING?

WHY ARE YOU STILL SITTING?

IMG_3208 (2)

After working in corporate America for most of my career I was ready for a change.  I knew what I wanted to do as far as my next steps but I also knew that sitting still would not get me there. I was so tired of watching other people “go for it” while I just sat by thinking about mine.  So I got busy….. I did the research, talked to people that could point me in the right direction and most importantly I asked God for guidance.  He answered by connecting me with the right opportunities and people.Yet,  I was still scared to move. Where was my faith? To show me that He meant business & that He was truly trying to answer my prayers, God made is so uncomfortable for me that I had no choice but to move.

I recently ran into someone from a former job and one of the first things that they said was “Are you guys hiring, I’m so sick of this place” I couldn’t help but think to myself… “You have been at this job for over 10 years but you aren’t making any real moves to leave, so obviously you like being here”.  When you get sick and tired of being sick and tired……YOU WILL MOVE. When you figure out that where you are is not your passion or your purpose, YOU WILL MOVE.  Life is too short not to enjoy what you do every day.

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Was making the change easy?…. NOPE

Was I scared?…..You bet

Did I have to make sacrifices?…..Yes & I still do

Am I happy that I am not still sitting….. NO DOUBT!!

Lesson learned….when you ask God for something & He agrees to give it to you….BE READY!!!

We can’t be afraid to move.

We can’t be afraid to take a chance. 

We can’t be afraid to jump!

Are you ready to jump?

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom-  Making a big life change is pretty scary, but know what’s even scarier?        Regret! -unknown

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Where’s Honeybee?

Hello Honeybees,

I’m baaaack!!

Did you miss me??  I certainly missed you.

Thank you to those that called, texted, emailed or stopped me to inquire about the blog. To know that I was missed means the world to me.

Let me explain why I took a break or rather why I had to take a break.

Sometime around the end of February, first of March my energy level hit rock bottom, like zero.  Every day by noon I felt like I had worked a 16 hour day.  By 3 pm it was all I could do not to take a nap.  My body was craving rest.  I wasn’t exerting any energy so I shouldn’t be THIS tired.  After talking about it with friends and the ladies at MemphisMomsBlog I decided to go to the doctor.

So tired quote

At first I thought it was my thyroid so I did what everyone does….I Googled it!  I fit some of the symptoms but not all of them or in my opinion not enough to scare me.  I knew that if it was my thyroid I might be on medication and for me that’s not a good thing.  I am the worst medicine taker (new phrase alert) EVER.  I’ll take medicine until I feel better then I stop.  I have NEVER, EVER, EVER finished a Zpak in my life.  I know, I know…I’ve got’s to do better.

Finally I have my doctor’s appointment.  We discuss my symptoms and the doctor orders blood work.  I ask her to check my thyroid, she smiles and says “I am, but I don’t think that’s it because you don’t have enough of the right symptoms”   Didn’t know that I was a MD did you? Yeah neither did I.

When my results come in I get the answers that I need:  Low iron & low vitamin D.

We naturally get Vitamin D from the sun, but for us girls with all that beautiful melanin it’s harder for us to absorb it naturally. Also add that fact that I wear sunscreen EVERYDAY year round.  YES, WE need sunscreen too.  If you want to keep the wrinkles away & help get rid of dark spots, sunscreen is a must.

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Vitamin D helps with the body’s abortion of iron. I have always had low iron levels but I HATE taking iron pills. Most people get enough iron intake from their diet (red meat, pork, dark leafy veggies, dried fruits like raisins). I eat red meat on special occasions, pork less than that and I don’t eat raisins.

We need iron to carry oxygen to our cells & muscles or we will feel fatigued.  Not only is my iron normally low but now you add the fact that I don’t have enough vitamin D to help carry what little iron I do have. No wonder a sister is tired.

So I’ve been on an iron, Vitamin D, multivitamin regime for 3 weeks and guess what…. I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER.  I feel like writing, I feel like walking, I feel like cooking, I feel my energy level rising.  I feel like ME!!

Honeybee I'm back

Please take care of yourself.  When you feel your energy levels dropping get checked out.  Don’t wait until your body MAKES YOU.

I’m ready to tackle summer 2016.  

See you under the sun

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- “I’m giving you the D, whether you want it or not”- The Sun

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Peggie Russell, I Salute You

Hello Honeybees,

International Women’s Month is almost over and I would be remiss if I didn’t pay tribute to a woman that truly impacted my life. 

Of course my mother is and always will be the most important woman ever to me.  She is the reason that I am even in this world.  I would not be the woman that I am without her influence, guidance and most of all love. 

There are friends & family members that are still to this day helping & supporting me but for this post I want to share with you how Peggie Russell came into my life and changed it forever.

Peggie

I can’t tell you how Peggie & I became friends. We tried for many years to figure it out but we never could put our finger on THAT moment.  What we did know and understand was that our friendship was destined.  We didn’t know how short it would be but we knew that our friendship was a gift.  Peggie was so good at listening to you but she never gave you answers.  She had a way of making you make your own decisions.  Although there was that one time that she flat out disagreed with me and told me so in no uncertain terms.  That should have been my light bulb moment but it wasn’t.  I didn’t listen and to this day I regret it.  Not once did she ever say “I told you so”, she just held my hand and helped me pick up the pieces.  That was just her way.

She encouraged me as a friend, a woman, a mother, and a Christian.  She never knew it but she also helped to shape my future career.  She led me to programs and connected me to people that would usher me into the nonprofit world, for that I am grateful.  She saw things in me that I didn’t see.  It still amazes me when some of those things manifest.

B&P

According to man Peggie left this world too soon.  According to God the timing was right. There are so many friends and family that miss her daily. She left behind a husband, four children, a granddaughter and a host of others though not related by blood, they still called her mom.  She gave not only to her family but to her community. She was a motivational speaker, author, attorney, preacher, teacher and community activist. To me was FRIEND.

So on this last day of International Women’s Month I salute you Peggie Russell.  May you rest in heaven with your angel wings. 

Peggie Hat

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- There will always be a reason why you meet people, either, you need them to change your life, or, you are the one that will change theirs

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I Am A Modern Day Woman

Hello Honeybees,

This weekend I became a Modern Woman!! 

How’s that?

I’m glad you asked!!!

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This weekend the Young Women Philanthropist held their 2016 Modern Day Woman’s Conference.  It was a chance for young women in Memphis to network, engage, learn and celebrate.  Friday night we attended the mixer at Joseph.  This was the chance to not only network but to also shop. The food was delicious as were the mimosas. 

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Saturday morning we were able to take professional head shots while attending sessions with topics ranging from “Becoming a Social Media Maven” to “Releasing Fear”.  The panelist for the sessions were women from Memphis sharing their knowledge and experiences.  The keynote speaker was Teresa Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women.

Ms. Younger encouraged us to not get caught up in what you can’t do…..focus on what you can and the rest will come.  She also told us to “Fail Fabulously”.  Ms. Younger asked that we not forget those that have come before us….. “I sit in the shade of trees that we did not plant, we drink from wells that we did not dig”….

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The Power Luncheon session Memphis 101 was all about what’s right & wrong about Memphis but it’s our city to love.  The panelist shared why they love Memphis, what keeps them here and ways to get involved.  One of the most memorable moments was Kristin Cheers’ advice.  Kristin says that one way to get involved is to “post up next to the problem”. If you see a problem in Memphis it’s your duty to figure out a way to fix it.

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If you were not able to attend this year’s Modern Day Women’s Conference you missed a treat. YWP chair Tiffany Futch and team did an outstanding job.  I always enjoy spending time with women who are inspiring other women. I also like winning prizes. I won a purse and a gift card to Auto Zone.

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For more information about the Young Women’s Philanthropists visit www.ywpmemphis.org  

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” — Diane Mariechild

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Blogger Fun

Hello Honeybees,

When I started this on this journey called blogging I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew what I wanted to happen from following other bloggers.  I wanted to experience the “blogger meet ups” , photo shoots and free prodcut.  Well, guess what????  Thanks to Memphis Moms Blog, I got to experience two of them in one weekend!!

Friday night was Moms Night Out.  It was held at Treasure Box located on Union Ave in midtown Memphis.  If you are looking for vintage furniture, jewelry or clothes check them out. It is a thrifters dream. There was mixing & mingling, shopping, wine of course and desserts.  No event for women would be complete without makeup and hair fun.  It was a much needed break and it was great to be around other blogger moms.

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Sunday we gathered on world famous Beale St. to take photos. Believe it or not this was my first professional shoot.  iPhone photo shoots don’t count.  It was really weird taking photos while people are walking all around you.  You don’t know who is watching. You see other people, hopefully tourist, taking your pic as well. 

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As we gathered for the group picture we had to decide what to do with our purses.  Our solution….we surrounded our photographer with them.  We were literally standing in the middle of Beale St with the Beale St Flippers entertaining the crowd behind us. Scary!!!

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Pop over to www.memphismomsblog.com to meet the wonderful ladies that help me live this experience.

One of my blogger goals is to attend a blogger conference hopefully in New York or California.  I have big blogger dreams, I’m just waiting for them to manifest.

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- To blog= To share, To connect, To create, To inspire –The Gingerbread Gem

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You, Me and DST

Hello Honeybees,

It’s THAT time of year again.  We reset our clocks and SPRING FORWARD.  I have never liked springing forward. UGH!!!!  It takes my body months, yes months, to adjust to losing that hour.

Give me my hour back!!

I like having the extra sunshine, but why oh why can’t I have my cake and eat it too?  I am a true hermit when it’s cold and dark outside.  So yes I will be out more enjoying nature’s vitamin D.

Spring Collage

Do you how did daylight savings time began?

In a 1784 essay Benjamin Franklin wrote that adjusting the clocks in the spring would save on candles. Not something we have to worry about now but saving energy is still connected to the reasoning behind daylight savings time.  In 1966 the U.S. adopted the Uniform Time Act of 1966.  States do not have to comply, Arizona and Hawaii do not observe daylight savings time.

Hawaii for the win!!!

Hawaii

It seems that this year my body is already adjusting to the time change.  I’m waking up an hour earlier. That has never happened before but I’m totally embracing it.  Anything to help me deal with the loss.

Here are a few helpful tips that can make the transition a little easier.

  • 2 weeks out start to make gradual changes…..whelp.. we missed that boat. Go to bed & wake up 10-15 minutes earlier daily. The slow change is not such a shook to the body.
  • Try to keep your schedule. Stay consistent with eating, social & exercise times. Don’t workout within 4 hours of bedtime.  This raises your bodytemp and can make it harder to fall asleep.
  • Have a nighttime ritual…..it’s not just for the kids anymore! Slowly wind down, take a warm shower or bath, dim the lights and turn off ALL electronics…that includes the tv. This one is hardest for me, the tv helps put me to sleep.
  • No long naps – you might feel like you need that midday nap but DON’T DO IT. Step out into the sunshine- it stimulates your body & helps to retain your inner clock.
  • Last thing… work the hour change into your schedule. The closer you stick to your normal routine the faster your body will adjust to the clock.

I hope this information helps you adjust this weekend.

For the first time EVER I’m actually looking forward to Springing Forward.  What tips do you have for adjusting to Daylight Savings Time?

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom-  “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”- Ben Franklin

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All About Bee

Hello Honeybees,

This post is all about ME.  I hope you enjoy getting to know me, quirks and all.

  1. I am an only child
  2. A lot of my closest friends are “onlys” too
  3. I gave birth AND lost a parent in 72 hours
  4. I am a homebody..that’s where my heart is
  5. I am divorced..that’s a good thing..believe me
  6. I was born in Chicago
  7. I am afraid of heights
  8. I am slow to anger but when I reach my boiling point I can be VERY unforgiving
  9. I did not get my driver’s license until after I was 20
  10. I can drive a 5 speed
  11. I hate long car rides
  12. I was raised Catholic
  13. I attended an All Girls high school, Immaculate Conception
  14. I wanted to attend Central High School but mom said nope
  15. I was accepted into Dillard University but mom said nope
  16. I love fancy restaurants…expensive foodie
  17. I LOVE grapes but HATE raisins… I know…special
  18. I do not like chocolate ice cream….never have
  19. My favorite cake is chocolate but it has to have white frosting
  20. I like to bake, especially cookies
  21. I have a coffee “problem”. Yep Starbucks Gold Card member
  22. I prefer my tea without sugar. We can thank Mickey D’s for that
  23. If it comes from the sea/ocean I’ll eat it….. or at least try it
  24. Red wine gives me a migraine. Got to figure out a way around this
The world in my hand

The world in my hand

  1. I learned to drink in college- University of Tennessee Martin at the Alpha house
  2. I was an Alpha Sweetheart in college- Mighty Mu Beta
  3. I LOVE my AKA- Beta Epsilon Omega
  4. I’m just now learning how to wear makeup. Never to late
  5. I can cross stitch. Learned in high school
  6. I can NOT draw a straight line….even with a ruler
  7. I can NOT cut on a straight line…dotted or solid line
  8. I can’t sing at all…… but I know all the words to songs I like
  9. I love the ballet and all kinds of theater…. thanks mom
  10. My daddy taught me the game of football… I think he wanted a son
  11. I only watch college sports during Bowl games & March Madness
  12. I do not like animals but I hate for people to mistreat them
  13. I love to dance
  14. I go to bed at 8pm….I’ve never been a night owl
  15. I’ve never had braids or weave or extensions….thinking hard about braids
  16. I’m still scared of the pressing comb…sorry straighten comb
  17. I hate unpacking after a trip
  18. I want to visit Paris
  19. I’ve never been skiing but I’ve been to a ski resort….the lodge was very nice
  20. I LOVE watching TV….it puts me to sleep every night
  21. I hate to grocery shop….mainly because I don’t still don’t know how…SMH
  22. I prefer to shop alone…that only child thing again
  23. I want to be an Executive Director of a non profit…career goals
  24. I turn 49 this year & I’m loving it.  Bring on 50!!!

That wasn’t so bad, was it?  Now tell me something about you.

BelindaBee pic

Beewisdom- We are born to be real, not to be perfect- Unknown

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Brave Enough

Hello Honeybees,

As a young child my mother helped me to cultivate my love of books. As a result I have developed a love for books. I read for enjoyment. A good book with a glass of wine and I’m set.

Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed was trending on my Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat so you know I had to check it out.  I’m so glad I did.  This little nugget of inspirational quotes filled with humor and power was worth the calories from that glass of wine.

Some quotes really spoke to me:

Brave Enough Quotes

and

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I used these two quotes to help guide me as I set my intentions for 2016.  I’m brave enough to trust myself as I to continue to grow….STRONGER, BOLDER, BRAVER!  I’ve EARNED  it.

I encourage everyone who needs some inspiration to grab a copy of Brave Enough and a glass of wine, sit back and be prepared to laugh and be inspired.

Belinda Bee pic

What’s your favorite book of quotes?

Beewisdom- Forward is the the direction of life- Cheryl Strayed

 

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I’m Taking My Talents To….

Hello Honeybees,

At the first of the year I set some goals for myself, not necessarily resolutions, but goals. One of those goals is to grow Blogging With Bee.  I’m new to the blogging world and I know that I have a lot to learn but I’m willing to put in the work.  That includes attending workshops, meeting and learning from other bloggers. So imagine how excited I was to learn that there was a blog in Memphis that was written by Memphis moms.  Not only did I discover the Memphis Moms Blog but I also learned that they were also looking for new contributors.  This is just what I needed to expand not only my personal blog but to also truly engage with other like-minded Memphis moms.  Being a contributor to Memphis Mom Blog was not a given.  I had to fill out a questionnaire AND ace the interview.  We are talking serious business.

I knew that I my unique view of motherhood and MY Memphis would be an asset to the Memphis Moms Blog.

After a week or so I received an email from lead Mom Lindsay to set up an interview.  I had the option of a phone interview or face to face.  I wanted face to face so that I could make sure that my amazing personality came shining through (kidding, not kidding).  I knew that things were off to a good start when Starbucks was our choice location for the “interview”.  This was like having home court advantage.  I also could tell from the email that Lindsay was going to be someone that I would like. 

Yep, I was right!!  We talked like girlfriends catching up.  It did not feel like an interview at all.  I knew that if selected this would be an enjoyable experience.

 I’m proud to say that YES I am one of several new contributors to the Memphis Moms Blog.  Not only will you have the pleasure, yes I said pleasure, of meeting me here every Thursday but you will also be able to catch me on www.MemphisMomsBlog.com

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I’m really excited about this new opportunity and I hope that you will join me Memphis Moms Blog, ESPECIALLY if you are a Memphis Mom. 

Belinda Bee pic

What steps have you taken to reach your 2016 goals?

Beewisdom – “Not only are bloggers suckers for the remarkable, so are the people who read blogs” – Seth Godin

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Love Is In The Air

Hello Honeybees,

This weekend we celebrate LOVE.  Even though Valentine’s Day is Sunday you will see the flowers and candy start to arrive at jobs & schools on Friday.  Maybe Thursday. Saturday night Walgreen’s will be packed with last minute shoppers.  Victoria’s Secret will not have many secret left to tell or sale. 

I truly enjoy this season whether I have a “bae” or not because I love to see love. I love to be surrounded by love.  I love to see two people sharing that special glance, holding hands, just being in that moment together.  It does my heart good.  Watching other people enjoy love truly makes me smile. 

I know that Facebook will be overflowing with sentiments of love.  There will be pictures of new couples and couples that have been going the distance for a while.  I’m sure that there might even be a few engagements.

 To them all I say Congratulations!

If you are “boo-less” this Valentine’s Day don’t be discouraged. Love will find you when it’s your turn.  In the meantime be sure that you are ready to receive love.  Be open to new people and new experiences. You never know when and where love will find you.

Grade School Art

Grade School Art

So this February 14th when you see the outpouring of love, don’t question it, don’t judge it, just sit back watch, enjoy, congratulate and know that in due season that will be you.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Belinda Bee pic

How will you send Valentine’s Day?

Beewisdom-Be happy for this moment, this moment is your life- Omar Khayyam

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My Sons First Teacher

Hello Honeybees,

I was having a conversation with my sons about the ACT.  My oldest son is a Junior and my youngest a Freshman in high school. My oldest asked what’s a good ACT score and my youngest went into the explanation of what is bad, average and good before I could even say anything.  I was so proud that he knew this information and that he has already set goals for his ACT. 

Our conversation turned to scholarships.  I told him that I wanted him to get as many scholarships as possible, especially since I have seen his list of schools.  That’s when he sprung this on me:

Last year Ronald Nelson, a young Memphis student was accepted into all 8 Ivy League colleges.  My son told me that as I watched Ronald’s story on TV, I was smiling and nodding my head. And you know what…He was right!!  I was so proud of that young man that I was smiling like he was my child.  I didn’t know it but that moment meant something special to my son.  He wants me to smile and nod my head for him. He wants to make me proud.

Me Boys

Christmas 2006

Don’t get me wrong, I support both of my boys in whatever they want to do. And they know this.  As of now my oldest wants to be an author and the youngest an astrophysicist.  Think Walter Mosely and Neil Degrasse Tyson

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

I said all that to say… our children watch us even when we don’t realize it. My reaction to being proud of a child that I have no connection to meant everything to a child that I will forever be connected to. What if I had a negative reaction to that story?  What if my reaction had been one of jealousy?  What if I just didn’t care at all? How would that, without me even knowing it, impact my child?  Would he still have the same list of colleges?  I’m just glad that in that moment I was a good teacher for my son.

We are our children’s FIRST teacher…………………Be careful what you teach them!

Belinda Bee pic

Beewisdom- “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”  James Baldwin

 

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