$h!t I'm Leaving Behind in 2018

December 22, 2018

So that's it y'all. I'm not.with.the.shits.no.more!!! I have been deliveredt! lol 

photo cred: GRW Photography - Geneva Wilder

Here is a comprehensive list of shit I'm leaving behind in 2018 where the hell it belongs:

1) Dealing with people/things who are not an energetic match for me. You are not obligated to entertain anyone nor their bullshit!Your energy don't match mine? #Dassit. I'm out. A situation don't feel right? Peace.

2) Giving people the benefit of the doubt. You don't have to deal with excusesIf anyone knows ANYTHING about a busy,hectic, sKressful life...it's me. Yet I don't let that stop me from showing people I care, showing them that they're important to me and being as present as I can. 

3) Forgetting who the f%#k I am. I'm a queen raising a wonderful young man. We both deserve the very best in everything and anyone we deal with and I REFUSE to accept less. 

4) Forgetting to take care of me. It's high time to get my nails done, my hair did, regular massages and the whole nine. I'm overdue to get back to putting myself #1 again. I can't help Liam, my family nor my friends if I don't have my shit together. If I'm not mentally, physically spiritually in tune, how can I help anyone else do the same? Take care of you baby, 'cuz aint nobody else gonna do it. Treat yourself the way you want to be treated, literally! Can't nobody treat you and love you better than you. 

5) F&*k shit lol. I'm not entertaining it no more! I LITERALLY have no time for it. I know better so I HAVE TO do better. #Dassit

6) In relationships: trying to get a man to my level. IF you are not already there, there are 2 choices: A) I can stand back and love/care for you while you ascend/grow/develop to meet me where I'm at (if that is what he CHOOSES to do & he proves that he is worth said support/wait) or B) I can gracefully bow out knowing that I need and require more. *Kanye shrug* Sorry, NOT sorry. 

7) Being a mediocre student. I need to strive for excellence. I don't want just ok/passing grades, I want to excel. I want to push myself to be the best student I can be. IT HAS TO HAPPEN. I want to know my craft inside and out. Ain't no mediocre! 

8) Being bad at keeping up with people I love. My people know I be M.I.A., but Nursing school y'all... Promise I'll do better. 

9) Saying too much - While I love a good clap back and letting people know about themselves if they're wrong. Sometimes it is truly more beneficial to say less or nothing at all.  What is understood doesn't need to be said and that's one lesson I learned this year. What's gon' be will be and either way Imma keep living my life and doing me!

10) Complacency - Cut the shit and get real within! If I'm not happy with the trajectory of my life, change something. Complacency is a dream killer and nothing comes from it but staying in one place. If you want mobility and the ability to reach your goals, complacency is NOT for you. 

11) Procrastination - Stop it immediately! Like right now as you're reading this. I sometimes fall into this trap and it doesn't do anything but make me more stressed out lol. It doesn't serve you or anyone else in your life. Leave it behind today, rett nah! Make a daily TO DO list and put all those things you don't want to do at the top and knock those things out! 

12) Lowering standards and not setting boundaries - From this day forward, I will be crystal clear with my standards/intentions/boundaries. I will continue to manifest my dreams, manifest my dream life and dream partner and I won't settle for anything less. To do so would be criminal!

13) Anyone who belongs there....*cue Beyonce's "Sorry"*

photo cred: Geneva Wilder

Attitude of Gratitude - end of 2018

December 18, 2018

It has been terribly long since I have penned a post. Sorry y'all. Life got in the way! Baaabbbyyyy, when I tell you this semester was one for the books...I mean it kicked my ass and turned me upside down lol.  BUT, "still I rise" lol. Y'all know I love my hyperbolic statements. I passed and now I'm on to my 3rd and FINAL semester of LPN school starting about a month from now on January 14.

When you had one HELL of a semester, but you survived and you out here letting your melanin push through and having expensive skin and living your best life lol.
So many things have transpired this semester and it literally has been a game of survival (mostly mentally). I left a job that I truly enjoyed, but that wasn't fulfilling emotionally nor financially anymore and went back to being FT in the hospital and freelancing in skincare/cosmetics. I left my hospital job in Cynthiana and moved to a larger hospital in Lexington. I have learned so much and it's helping me to truly decide if I want to do OB or Nursery/NICU. 

eating lunch after our last clinical

clinical group 

new job on postpartum and nursery

I was featured as a model in KY Bride Magazine (owwwwwww!). Itwas such an awesome experience. I got to be made up and try pretty dresses on for the day...not mad about it lol. I've been trying to get back into modeling because it's something that I miss. I got to shoot with a really cool chick named Geneva and we got some great shots to update my book :).

The spread. Dresses: Twirl, HMUAs: PinkLouLou, Photo: The Malicotes

photo by GRW Photography

Photo by GRW Photograpy

I also got to be a featured blogger for the Night Market which is a local Lexington initiative to bring a sense of community/neighborhood back to the North Limestone area. I personally know the woman who orchestrates in the 1st Friday of every month and she's so fucking awesome. Shout out to Samantha Johnson (SaManhattanPR), you the SHIT! thank you again for that opportunity. I will do a post on the NOLI Night Market once it resumes again in the Spring! 

Mom also finished her 1st semester of her ADN program successfully! #DontStopGetItGetIt . I'm so incredibly proud of my mama. 'Cuz I know the shit she had to go through to get to where she is and she's fucking amazing. Ain't nobody like my mama. Her resilience and determination is unmatched in my book. So congrats Mama!

Liam is thriving! This has been such a time of growth for him. ABA therapy is helping him grown by leaps and bounds. I'm so incredibly proud of him. I couldn't be happier with how he is doing. He is truly the sunshine of life  :).

I got to go see the Tapping Wizard himself Brad Yates in Cincinnati with Kristin back in October and had a blast! It was a really cool experience. He did it in a workshop style format and there was lots of participation It was awesome to see him in person.

So while this year hasn't all been roses and rainbows, I am truly thankful for growth. It seems like this year lasted 2 years lol and I will honestly be glad to see it gone. I'm awaiting the changes, challenges, surprises and triumphs that 2019 will bring including being a Nursing school grad in May!!! I promise to pen another post BEFORE May lol.

Until again,
Bougie Beauty Babe

Vacation on the Spectrum

July 3, 2018

This past Father's Day Liam and I embarked on our first vacation as a mini family unit to Destin, Florida. Allegiant Airlines had a kick ass deal on their newly added route from LEX to VPS. Liam has traveled a few places in his 8 years here on Earth, but this was our first vacation with Mom and son. It was also my first time traveling alone with Liam since he was officially diagnosed on the spectrum.

We departed from Lexington and the flight was about 1.5 hours. It went surprisingly smooth because we had Liam's trusty iPad along for the flight even though he slept for about 45 minutes. Our flight was a later flight, so even with the excitement, he/we were able to get some Zzzzzs in! (Thank ya jeezus). Also, working in our favor was the fact that we reside in Eastern time and the gulf coast of Florida is in Central time :).

The next 3 and 1/2 days were spent relaxing, beachin' and eating our way through the Gulf coast lol. The most important part of the trip for me and for Liam was that this was a deviation from his normal schedule and routine and it was a test for both of us to see how he handled it. I must say he passed with flying colors.

There were no meltdowns and Liam was even willing to try new things (like feeding donkeys, goats and llamas at a local wildlife reserve). Liam did exhibit some stimming behaviors (things that happen when he is overstimulated), but that was to be expected.

Here are a few tips for how we survived our 5 day, 4 night mini-vacay:

1) I had to explain to Liam EVERYTHING we did/were doing. So while we didn't truly have an itinerary, I made sure to keep some things constant. We basically revolved our activities around breakfast, lunch and dinner and that seemed to work pretty well.

2) Liam has never had an issue flying - I mean he literally took his first flight at 2 months old and has been in the air ever since. But electronics, a small blanket and me as a pillow helped. I also made sure he was well fed before our 8pm ish departure.

3) Back to the activity thing, I bought Groupons ahead of the trip so every day we had something to do. Sometimes twice. Liam went bowling for the first time, we went to the movies and did a little shopping, we went to the beach three times, we swam at the hotel pool once, we went out to eat several times and we went to the zoo/wildlife reserve. I made sure not to back too much into one day. I always wanted to relax. 
dinner at Bric A Brac restaurant

selfie before dinner

beach day 1

Arcade at Uncle Buck's Fishbowl (also a bowling alley)

4) I made sure he was able to bring some of his favorite play things from home (i.e. his iPad and his favorite stuffed animal teddy). While on our trip Teddy even gained companion. In the Emerald Coast Zoo gift shop we found Teddy's new BFF a wolf named by Liam, Howl.

5) We couldn't pack food, but I made sure to find a grocery store and buy some snacks. Liam is a snacky kinda guy and he needs his faves on demand (He currently loves Go-Go squeeze yogurts and applesauces).

6) If you don't fit everything in or there are some deviations from the plans, don't sweat it. My biggest take away from this was that Liam can and will thrive in different situations with me there to redirect/guide. My main goal in life is to assure him that he can and will have to do these things without me one day and empower him to do it!

Henderson Beach State Park - Destin, FL

Until again,
Bougie Beauty Babe

My Path to Nursing School

May 29, 2018

When I was growing up and even into my early adulthood. I had no idea that I wanted to be a nurse. The thought had never even crossed my mind without some encouragement from my mom. My mom has worked in the medical field for 21 years. She is a Certified Medical Assistant (now in the ADN program of a local college) whose aspiration was to always be a nurse. She is intelligent, observant, quick on her feet, a good critical thinker and overall she truly cares about people.

my Mama aka my inspiration

From helping her study for her Medical Assistant classes to helping her study for her National test. Being in the medical field has kind of always been a part of my life. But I had other plans. I wanted to be in a ward winning journalist covering news from war zones and impoverished areas around the world. I wanted to shed light on the plight of others in order to help them. I wanted to win a Pulitzer for groundbreaking and life-changing a new stories.
the coveted B.A. degree!

The recession that began in 2008 derail those plans and made me think about where I would go with my English and journalism degree. Then a year later I had Liam and I really had to begin to think about careers that would be profitable and allow me to raise a child as a single parent. I was also in a mountain of student loan debt so I had that think of.

Hellloooo single motherhood

It wasn't until a couple of years later when I was moving back to Kentucky that the idea and plan for nursing school really began. I started taking my prerequisite classes that next semester and the rest was history. I found like I had finally found my stride and was beginning to walk in my purpose. I began the associate degree nursing program at Eastern Kentucky University in the spring of 2013. That same semester my dad had life-changing heart surgery, Liam was officially diagnosed with autism and to top it all off I got mono 2 months into the semester.

I was devastated, I missed about two weeks of class but I pressed on thinking that I could successfully finish what I had started. That was not the case I failed out of my first semester of nursing school. That same semester I had also began working at the University of Kentucky hospital on a med-surg floor and continued to work at the hospital for 2 years and I honestly wasn't even sure if nursing was what I was meant to do anymore. The pay was shitty, the job was shitty and most importantly I did not find the purpose or pleasure and helping people because I was mentally and physically exhausted having to work overtime just to pay bills and make ends meet. At that same time I was still freelancing and beauty.
Med/Surge tech days :/
I left the hospital and returned beauty in October 2015. At that point, I had loosely made up my mind that I would stay in beauty because it paid a lot more than working as a tech in the hospital, I had normal hours and I also truly enjoyed what I was doing. When that no longer fulfilled me and made me happy, something told me that nursing was it.

Unfortunately my failing grade and the 9 credit class that nursing fundamentals was changed my GPA so my average was about a 2.2 or 2.3. I couldn't get into any nursing program with a GPA that low. A former coworker from the hospital told me about the LPN program at BCTC and I applied in Spring 2017. I was accepted to the program and I successfully finished my first semester of nursing school December 2017.

I had to take a semester break because my biology prerequisite is too old so I am repeating that class now, but I will resume second semester in the LPN program in August. LPN to RN to NP is a pretty long route, but I do truly believe it is the route I was meant to take.

I am still in a mountain of student debt and unless I go to grad school right now I have no more loans available to me because I have a Bachelor's degree. After the debacle from my first stint in nursing school, I have been a self pay student. I was blessed enough that last semester and fall semester I got a scholarship geared towards single parents with children under 12. I just received word a few weeks ago that I now have qualified for the actual nursing scholarship and all my tuition will be paid for fall semester and my last semester in the spring next year.

I feel like things are lining up in my favor it is now up to me to get all those letters after my name. Cicely Carter, LPN -> Cicely Carter, RN -> Cicely Carter, WHNP and/or Midwife. I shared that with you guys to let you know that there is more than one way to reach your destination. The key is you just gotta KEEP GOING.

Until again,

Bougie Beauty Babe

Bougie Boudoir

May 23, 2018

Every year I'm alive is a blessing, but something felt extra special about 30 for me. New decade, new possibilities and new places/things/people and more growth to be had. I decided to do a boudoir photo shoot for myself to celebrate many things: my body, my mind, my life, my strength, my beauty and to capture a moment in time. You only turn 30 once and I was/am super excited to begin my journey into my 30s.

I'm going to share a select few and the rest are for my own eyes and for me to enjoy. I want to look back on these pictures and remember who I was at that point in my life and hopefully compare it to who I will be at that time.

Photography was done by the ever amazing Erica Lee Photography. She's an amazing Lexington,KY based photog who specializes in Boudoir shoots. She's one of the best and I LOVE, LOVE working with her. Makeup was by my gyal Kristin Gray MUA, a Texas MUA based here in Lexington as well. If interested, I can slide you their contact info. I guaran-damn-tee these ladies are IT!

I now present to you: Dirty 30 Boudoir

2nd Half of 2018: #LivingMyBestLife

May 18, 2018

From a photo shoot last month - had to stop and take a selfie, duh!

Y'all! I ain't dead yet! Halleloo! :) I finished my semester with a 4.0, My GPA is up to a 3.4. I only have this damn BIO 139 class between me and entering the grueling next phase of my LPN program.  I'm ready to take it on. I will be full time at 15 credits. I will take Pharm II, Mental Health, Med/Surg and OB. I'm of course most excited about OB and learning the ins and outs of interventions for laboring moms and newborn babies. I can't wait to learn more about reading the fetus's activity on the monitor.

Nurses Week 2018 - still love working with my babies in OB department 

Me & my fave

I also did a thing today! I booked a round trip flight for me and Liam to head to Florida next month. I work so much (sometimes 60 hr/week) and have nothing to show for it. I need some fun in the sun and the beach/sun is my happy place. I know Liam and I will have fun. Budget vacays are NECESSARY in my life! While this won't be our first vacation, it will be the first one we have taken just the two of us. My main goal in motherhood (outside of raising a pretty awesome lil' dude) is to create memories with Liam.

I'm also implementing my personal goals this year. Here's what I envision/forsee/will come to fruition for the rest of 2018:

1. Pass BIO with a B
2. As & Bs for Fall semester
3. plan, start and implement a real budget!
4. Save money consistently
5. get this child a dog somehow (Liam has wanted a dog for a year now)
6. find an effective self care routine
7. back to working out regularly (for health and weight loss)
8. pray/meditate/journal/EFT daily

As we approach the half way mark in 2018, what reflections do you have? What have you done and what will you do? Are you living your best life? What's keeping you from it?

Until again,

Bougie Beauty Babe

I'm NOT Superwoman

March 27, 2018

Image result for superwoman logo

By bestowing upon me this title, you unknowingly inflate my abilities to a superhuman level. I'm NOT super woman. I am weak, vulnerable, emotional and muhfuggin tide! This is not to degrade myself or draw attention to my shortcomings, but this is my reality. I'm a single mom to special needs child who barely has her shit together. I concoct these amazing ideas to get/save/use money and somehow they always end up leading me further from the things I truly love and the people that mean the most to me.

I'm an overachiever, I cannot be convinced unless by my own convincing that something may not be a good idea. I'm stubborn and tenacious. I won't take no for an answer. I'm so many things, but the most important to remember is that I'm human. I cry (a lot these days), I fuck up sometimes (more often then I would like to admit) and I rarely have shit figured out. I feel like most days I'm truly flying by the seat of my pants.

What do I even have going for me? I love; deeply and honestly and with dedication. I always try. Even when I fail or fall short, I have put in the best effort and done things to the best of my ability. I'm honest. I see the good in people and try to make the best of any and every situation. I try to find the lesson in things that don't go right.

I'm not superwoman, but I AM super and I AM a woman. My super powers lie within. They lie within my ability to work hard daily to become a better and the best me that I can be!

Until again,
Bougie Beauty Babe

2018 Finna Be Lit

January 13, 2018

bringing in the new year with my favorite human being

the 2nd love of my life lmfao!

I 'm late AF per usual with my posting, but I promise I only write with great and positive news. My vision board was made and dang near completed about a month ago. I have had so many great experiences to draw inspiration from.

I finished my first semester of my LPN program with a 3.2! That's 2 Bs and an A. I'm soooo not mad about it! I had to withdraw from BIO because I was crashing and burning in the class due to not being able to keep up from the start of class, but I am retaking it this semester and I'm not settling for anything less than a B! Also, I am considering transferring to Midway's night program. I'd get my ADN and be that much closer to MSN. If that doesn't pan out I will stay at BCTC and finish the LPN program or transfer to Midway as an LPN instead. I've got options.

I started working another job (full time for a couple of months and then I will go to every other weekend). I'm working on an OB unit with both moms and babies. Y'all already know my heart is full! I'm on night shift by choice so I will be on Walking Dead mode for the next couple of months.

I'm taking a Creative Writing class this semester for kicks and because I miss writing. Shout out to CS for helping me realize just how much I truly needed to write again. I'm already geeked about the first assignment and truly looking forward to producing some great works over the next couple of months.

Liam finally got to resume his in-home behavior therapy and we have a great babysitter that both Liam and Luna love! Soon we hope to dive into ABA in the clinical setting at the center. My pockets are a little slimmer because of it, but she does homework with him, has taken him on some play dates and even offers to help out around the house. She's a really good kid and I'm glad to have found her.

In other news, I'm hoping to be a guest writer on a blog for bougie mamas lol :). How fitting right? I also plan to do more for this blog and be more active. Consistency is key. Stay on the lookout y'all for many more thangs to come. I'm hype about this year. Hype about my future and hype about ME! This is my time for ultimate self care and living my best life by my terms. I feel it in my bones.

Love and light y'all,
Bougie Beauty Babe

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