Category Archives: Friendship

Friend or Foe?

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There is a saying that individuals will only have a handful of true friends in their entire lifetime.  If one person believes that’s true, it’s me. I remember being a teenager and wanting any and eveybody to like me. It may be one of those little things we do in our not fully matured mind to feel accepted and wanted.

The older (and wiser) I’ve become, the more I keep people at a distance. When I reflect on my life and the people I’ve “befriended” the more clarification I get that more than half of the people  I thought would be lifelong friends are no where to be found.

On the flip side, I have a number of friends, that no matter what have never turned their backs on me. Yes, we have our disagreements from time to time but who doesn’t. We still embrace our uniqueness and love each other no matter what and for that I am blessed. My friends are the therapist and family I choose.

After being used and taken advantage of by so many people, I’ve learned that it is important to know what qualities you yearn for in a friendship in order to avoid wasting time with people who will never add any value to your life.

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Qualities of  a GOOD friend 

  • Honesty- I am an honest person and expect nothing less when I call someone my friend. That’s the biggest thing I look for when making friends. If you can’t tell me the truth, then I don’t want to be a part of your life. My friends for the most part tell me the truth as oppose to what I want to hear and I have always respected them for that.
  • Reliability- I am terrible when it comes to making plans, but when I plan to do something with someone I do it. Not only when it comes to planning, I can also rely on each one of my true friends for anything, whether it be a shoulder to cry on, a ride after a night out, or place to crash, and would do anything and everything for them as well.
  • Sense of humor- I love to laugh therefore I can’t be friends with people who are serious 24/7. 90% of the time I spend with my friends is spent laughing—inside jokes, general discussions, and everything in between. Nothing beats thinking of a friend and immediately smiling because of something funny they said or a silly gesture.
  • Forgiving- As friends, we aren’t going to always get along. That is ok. We are human which means we will make mistakes. When we make mistakes or argue with our friends, it is crucial to be forgiven. I am blessed in the aspect that I don’t argue much with my friends but when I do, I am always forgiven and always forgiving when I feel I have been treated unfairly.
  • Acceptance- Each one of my friends are completely different, which is what makes it completely fun. I strive on the fact that each of my friends accept me for who I am, and not who they want me to be. Being accepted is comforting in a friendship. It feels good to be around people who allow you to be yourself and not pretend to be anything more.

Red Flags of TOXIC Friends

  • Selfish- When you befriend a selfish person, it almost will immediately raise a red flag. Avoid people in your life who constantly ask you do for them, yet when you are in need, they are no where to be found. I’ve experienced this first hand. Can I have a ride here? Can I borrow this? Can you do this for me?  These types of constant questions, are extremely common in a selfish person. I am all about helping and favors, but there is only so much help I can offer when a person doesn’t help themselves. Believe me when I say, selfish people make the worst friends.
  • Dishonest- Sometimes people easily disguise themselves with lies. Ever met a person, thought they were amazing but then slowly discovered they weren’t who they claimed to be? They lied about something as lithe as what they ate for dinner or as big as how many children they have. These are traits of a dishonest person. I believe that if you can’t tell me the truth, we shouldn’t be friends, period.
  • Negative- I try to avoid people who constantly are negative because it tends to subliminal make me negative. We all have struggles in life, but we have to learn to deal with them head on in the most positive way possible in order to keep our sanity. “Debbie downers” in my opinion can be just as toxic as selfish individuals. I would try my best to avoid them if you are trying to live a stress free life.
  • Bad Influence- We all know someone who is a trouble maker. The bottom line is if you engage in activity or behavior that you know isn’t morally, legally, or ethically ok, it will eventually catch up with you. I have people I care about a lot but they are constantly in trouble with the law. I keep them at a distance, being friendly with them yet knowing if they get in trouble and I am with them, the outcome will be terrible.  As an adult you know right from wrong, so be smart about who you allow in your home and even your life.
  • Dramatic- One thing I hate with a passion is drama. I have 0 tolerance for it to be quite frank. I can honestly say that most of my good friends are the same way. I have been friends with people who always have drama in their life and it is exhausting. Why should you have to avoid certain places and people you don’t even know because your “friend” will get me? The answer is you shouldn’t nor do you have to.

images-1In life we are going to encounter a number of people in our lives. There is nothing wrong with being friendly with everyone however keep in mind that not everyone has the same motives as you. Be mindful and remember who to call a friend and who to call a foe.

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Bachelorette Bonanza!

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Being a social butterfly, it is probably not shocking that I absolutely LOVE bachelorette parties!  It is one of the last times you get to go all out before the bride says “I do”. I recently went on a trip to Atlanta (awesome city by the way) for my lifetime friend Casey’s bachelorette party.  We had a ball.

Below are some fun ideas for planning bachelorette festivities.

Spoil the bride.

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No matter what, it is essential to make sure the bride to be feels special. This is all about her so make it a pleasantly wonderful memory for her. Whether it be a relaxing spa day or a night out on the town, make sure to keep her feeling fabulous. One thing I thought was adorable was having Casey’s fiancé write her little notes (some were funny some were sweet) and we would give them to her randomly on our trip.  Here is a cute picture of her reading one before we hit the road.

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Designate a dress code.

One way to make bachelorette parties fun are by coming up with a dress code. When my friend Blair got married we all wore black and had fun glasses and she wore the outfit of her choice. with a cute veil and sash.

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Another adorable idea my friend Jennifer had was making each person who came to her uptown Charlotte festivity wear a tutu. In my opinion,  it was super precious and unique.

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I’ve also seen people get t-shirts made, all wear pink, and other similar things, but you can easily custom the dress code to type of person the party is for.

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Play games. 

I have played some funny games at bachelorette parties. One of my favorites is  the balloon game.

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BALLOON GAME:

  • Write down different things the bride to be is required to do before the night ends. (For example, get a stranger to take a shot with her, do a funny dance, get a kiss on the cheek, and other silly things)
  • Insert the instructions in to a balloon.
  • Blow up the balloons and place them on the outfit of the bride to be.
  • When you go out the bride must have all of the balloons popped and completed each task written down or else she has to take a shot.

Try new places.

When we went to Atlanta everything was new to us so we let the bride to be pick a few spots we stumbled upon or we have heard about from friends and checked them out. If you are ever in the Midtown area of Atlanta,  I would definitely recommend the Steamhouse Lounge (amazing seafood) and Publik Draft House (extensive cocktail menu).

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Be smart and safe.

If heavily drinking will be involved always remember your body needs food and water. Do not over do it. You don’t want to end up with your face in the toilet all night or passed out before sunset. Also DO NOT drink and drive. Take cabs, plan a stay in slumber party, or go to places in walking distance of you.

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Most importantly HAVE FUN!

Little Lessons in Life

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You are naive if you believe life is going to be perfect all the time. Sometimes life throws curve balls and we have to learn how to hit a home run instead of strike out. I have recently experienced some intense situations in my life. Some I dealt with fairly easily, whileothers have taken me much longer to understand. In the past few years, I have had to learn to remove the negative energy and excuses for why things may be tough and revert it into positive energy and life lessons.

Little Life Lessons

1.  LOVE your family and friends. Don’t just tell them, show them. Take the 2 hour trip to visit your boring grandmother, or call your mom and listen to how tough her day was at work. The people you call family and friends are there for you, so show them how special they are to you. Our days are numbered, and I, personally want my parents, siblings, nieces, friends, etc. to know how important they are to me. We are all busy, but even if you take 10 minutes out of your day to call up someone in your family you haven’t spoken to in a while, or a friend you went to school with, just to see how they are doing and let them know how important they are to you can truly make a person’s day. I know this because, it makes my day when the phone rings and I hear my sweet nieces, or silly sister’s voice on the other end.

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2. Don’t let RELATIONSHIPS consume you. I feel as if some people get too comfortable in relationships. I’m not knocking the idea of love but be sure to be able to love yourself prior to loving another person. If you are honest with yourself and aren’t happy some times as hard as it may be, you have to end the relationship for not only you but also the other person. I recently ended a pretty lengthy relationship due to the fact that I felt as if it consumed me and hindered my future progress as an individual. There was no “cheating”,  I didn’t “hate” him, and there was no major fight to end things. I simply felt my heart wasn’t in it nor was it fair to keep someone in my life because I was “comfortable”. It’s ok sometimes to be uncomfortable for a moment to get your focus where it needs to be. I believe one of the main reasons it has been a mental challenge for him to move on is because he felt as if I was his life. He was an amazing person who no doubt loved me dearly but when things ended, it was difficult for him to stand on his own two feet which in turn made it more difficult for him to move forward.

3. Learn to be INDEPENDENT. I have been pretty blessed to have both a  supportive and encouraging family. My parents have taught me the importance of valuing what you have and hard work. These lessons have molded me into being an independent person. I like being on my own and not asking approval before doing what I want to do. I’m an adult who works hard therefore everything I have done and things I’ve experienced are because I worked for them. I take care of myself and my dog and at the end of the day that’s all I am responsible for. Of course I have had financial set backs, but luckily I have a great support system who will help me get back on track when I may struggle, but I find it important for people to be able to do things for themselves. I think some people may fear being uncomfortable and never learn to do things for themselves.

4. Be MINDFUL of who you let in. Certain people, for example, your family and friends, of course you are going to talk to  about certain things going on in your life, but not everyone you meet needs to know about your personal issues. Some people talk too much while others don’t talk enough. I am very out going and hang out with a lot of people but at the same time, I don’t let certain people I hang out with know too much about me. It’s not that I am being mean or sneaky, it’s because I have learned that people have to earn the right to get to know me. I have let a lot of people in, especially in my early 20s that I should have never talked to or considered a friend. It happens. Some people change while others were never true.  Humans, not all but some, are jealous creatures. Some people hate to see other people doing well, but that shouldn’t stop you from allowing those who do want you to succeed be a part of your experiences.

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5. Be APPRECIATIVE. No matter how tough something is don’t forget to appreciate all of the good in your life. Whether it be the sun shining  on a summer day or a  job promotion, never forget how lucky you are to have what you have!

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We’re All the Same Color When You Turn Off the Lights

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“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” Martin Luther King Jr. Today is MLK day. He was a true leader and inspiration in ending racism.
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I have never  thought about not talking to someone because of the way they look. I don’t understand how some people are so quick to judge others by the color of their skin.  I  grew up in a semi small town in South Carolina called Rock Hill. I graduated  high school in 2003. I remember catching hell from African American women because some of my friends were African American men. Never once met me, simply didn’t like the fact that I was friends with these guys.

I look back and laugh. If you are that insecure that you can not accept the fact that two people from different backgrounds are friends, it’s not worth me entertaining. I have always hung out with people from different backgrounds. I have friends who are white, black, Puerto Rican, mixed races, Dutch, Vietnamese, Korean, gay, lesbian, straight, parents, goody toe shoes, thugs,  college kids, and the list could go on and on. My point is don’t get too consumed in how different a person may be than you. Take a second to seriously get to know someone first. Use your own judgement to decide if an individual is worthy of your friendship.

Fast Forward to 2014. I moved to Charlotte NC about 4 years ago. It’s only 20 miles north of Rock Hill but I absolutely love it here. I can jump on the highway to visit friends and family yet I’m far enough away to run into a familiar face every time I go to the grocery store. You can go out and watch a game or grab a bite to eat and see friends in groups of all several races together. You see interracial couples having a drink at the bar. You see employees of all different skin tones smiling and laughing together.

Although I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a bigger city or if racism is slowly fading, it warms my heart to see that people are branching out and getting know each other. I think it is important for parents to also guide their children and help them understand it is ok to look different than your friends.

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That’s SO 2013

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It’s hard to believe it is 2014. The saying must be true because time really does fly when you are having fun. Although a year has past, 2013 brought a lifetime of memories.

JANUARY 2013- Me and Lgeezy

2013 started out for me with the rekindling of a friendship I once thought was beyond repair. Lauren and I are both very opinionated and my stubbornness hindered our friendship for a while and ever since we had a pretty intense talk sometime in January we have been closer than ever. We are always each other’s comical relief as well as ear to listen threw hardships. She and I often joke about how happy we are that we are friends and the truth is, I don’t think either one of us would have it any other way.

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Lauren and I at my house for Superbowl 2013

FEBRUARY 2013- I couldn’t think of one big moment so I put two for September, because it was a pretty great month!

MARCH 2013- Trippin’

In March my 8 year old niece,Darby, wanted to go visit some of our family in Colorado so I did what any aunt would do, went with her. She is so patient for a kid. She was an amazing passenger and we enjoyed watching the snowfall as we made crafts by the fire. She loved the snow and knew exactly where she wanted to eat while in Colorado Springs, CO. It’s almost bittersweet to watch her grow up.

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Well, Aunt Avyn had a big girl job so, I had to leave that Sunday and get back to work but Delta had other plans. I was stuck in an airport for 2 days straight. I spent one night in a hotel in Colorado Springs and another in Atlanta. Most people would have been miserable but lucky for me, I met some pretty kick ass people and we clicked instantly. We did everything together for those two days and even nicknamed ourselves the Delta Force. It was actually pretty amazing because to this day I talk to 2 of the ladies I met.

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ImageDelta Force stuck in hotel #1

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APRIL 2013- Wilmington Bound

Quentin turned 30 this March and because I was in Colorado, I took him on a trip to Wilmington NC, in April. He is from Charleston SC, loves seafood, and had never been so we went down for a night and enjoyed some fresh seafood, a rooftop bar, and a beautiful condo overlooking the waterway. Although we didn’t get to take the sunset cruise I had planned because it was so cold outside, we still had an amazing trip and look forward to going again.

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MAY 2013- Claybo party of 2

This year my friend of many years Jennifer Allen became Jennifer Claybo. That’s right, she got married to her best friend Jon Claybo! The two are a walking definition of marrying your best friend. They adore each other so much and I am so glad I got to witness them tie the knot. Everything was beautiful and I continue to wish them both a lifetime of happiness.

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June- 28 Years of Greatness

One of my best friends, Beth, turned 28. My friend Casey and I hopped in the car and headed to Columbia, SC to celebrate 28 years of fabulousness with Beth. We had dinner at a Japanese restaurant where we actually sat on the floor. It was a feast of sushi, sake, and silliness. After dinner we had a pajama party with Beth and her roommates. I haven’t laughed that hard in a while.

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Beth- the birthday girl

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JULY 2013- America’s Most Wanted Tour

I try to go to at least one concert a year so this year I got a Groupon to the TI, Lil Wayne, and 2 Chains concert, told my friends about it and we all went. A few of us pregammed at my house then met everyone there and had a blast. Dancing on a summer night is one of the best feelings in the world.

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AUGUST 2013- Playin’ By the Pool with Pipes

My friend Piper and I both got laid off from our full time jobs and instead of moping around about it, we did what we could, looked for jobs, and most importantly had fun! If we didn’t see each other at least twice a week, something was seriously wrong. We took our dogs on walks, relaxed at each other’s houses, but my favorite times were pool times. We joked about how we “worked from home and we had business meetings”–leaving out the minor detail that we were unemployed and went to the pool weekly. It sucked getting laid off but we are both getting back on our feet finally, but I must admit it this summer was one of the best ones because of her.

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SEPTEMBER 2013- He liked it so he went and put a ring on it

Sunday September 15, 2013 my lifetime friend Casey was no longer  in a relationship with her boyfriend Jesse, she was now his fiancé. With country music playing, they sat in the back of his pick-up truck.  They were drinking wine in front of a bonfire when he got down one knee and asked for her hand in marriage. I am so excited to be apart of their wedding and can’t wait to see Casey as a bride! She will be gorgeous, I just know it!

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Here’s the ring!!!

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Jesse and Casey

SEPTEMBER 2013- She’s 1

This September my baby niece Remy Vera turned one! Decked out in a tutu and Chuck Taylors, she was the guest of honor at her cookies and milk themed birthday party. My sister in law is so creative she had a cookie decorating station set up for the children, a milk bar, and guest left with a mason jar packed to the top with ingredients to make their own cookies at home. I love my family and seeing Remy become a year old, walking and talking has been an amazing experience.

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OCTOBER 2013- Glammed Up Pumpkins

This year instead of carving pumpkins, some friends and I headed to Piper’s house and glammed up some pumpkin. Piper supplied glitter, glue, sequins and more and we decorated our pumpkins. I think they turned out adorable and it was much cleaner than sticking your hand in a slimy pumpkin.

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NOVEMBER 2013- Thankful for Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving my family and I enjoyed a delicious meal at my parent’s house. It was laid back but we were surrounded by love and each other.

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This is some of our feast

DECEMBER 2013- It’s Christmas time in the city

Hands down, Christmas was the best way to end the year. From celebrating with my friends at our annual holiday party to watching my niece open her iPad, Christmas was amazing. Anytime I am with family and friends, I am content. They are the reason I get up each day and aim for greatness. Below are some pictures from my holiday celebrations.

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My Charlie Brown tree

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10th Annual Peacock Christmas Party

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My amazing mother

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Handmade crafts from my niece

National Best Friend Day

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Today is the day in which we celebrate National Best Friend Day! My best friend Allison and I have been threw so much together! Ever have one of those friends you go from talking to each other every single day to not seeing each other in months and things being the exact same? Well that’s exactly how we are. I can count on her for anything. If she’s got it and I need it there is no doubt in my mind she’d give it to me and vice versa. We will always fight like sisters and laugh like teenage school girls. If you have a person who you call your best friend give them a call today and tell them how much you appreciate them!

Here is a pic of my best friend Allison and I