I have been up and down about writing this review. Reason being, I've had a membership with Bluebird Studios since just months after it opened. In the beginning, it was located still in Charlotte, NC but off Providence Rd. At that time, the only massage therapist was the owner, Madeline R. Burroughs. As the clientele grew, she needed more space and hired more practitioners which was totally understandable and awesome! That said, I followed her and remained a upstanding client for YEARS. Not to mention, I would always pre-schedule my services 3 months in advance with her (and I tipped).
Late 2017, on a few occasions my draft would come out on different dates than what was arranged. Luckily, that never put me in a bad situation with other transactions. Then also, the lead practitioner, Madeline would call (gave a weeks notice tho) asking could my appointment be changed. I never tripped just appreciated the courtesy of her phoning in advance. Yet, on a occasion... I was in need of the same revision... that was not honored. In the meantime, I had purchased gift cards off GroupOn for others, I'd also treat my mom to a massage from time to time. Strange enough, I referred someone to this business... that person expressed how rude Madeline got with her when she requested.. not once but twice not to have Jazzy (the dog greeter) in the space during her massage. This info was disclosed to me from this friend (whom began a membership later cancelled due to unprofessionalism from the owner). Although, I never let that change my view of the service. However, as time went on I pondered ending my membership. I inquired to the owner and agreed to end my membership in Nov/Dec which is suggested a 30 day notice. Therefore, I left on good stands... on my end. The final payment came out in Dec 2017. During that time, the owner which was my therapist was leaving for medic leave. Therefore, she and I spoke... I signed the "ending the membership clause" and I told her, I would love for her to do my final massage. Without hesitation, she disclosed that she would be back in Feb 2018... so it will not be til then. Mind you, this was Nov 2017. No problem, I understood and made a appointment via the website after it was announced that she has or will be returning. I instantly sent her a card, to the business congratulating her on her bundle of joy.
Fast forward til about 2 weeks ago. I received a call from Madeline, I immediately began to give her praise on her bundle. After that, she says to me... I am calling to let you know that I have returned as a manger for a awhile. Therefore your upcoming appointment will be with another practitioner. At that moment, it was a brief silence. Then I restated her comment JUST to make sure I understood correctly. I soon shared with her, basically I waited to schedule my final service to accommodate her leave. And if I was interested in another massage therapist (which I am sure was a great practitioner) that I would not have allowed this closing to carry on for months. She then became really unprofessional! Stating that she called me out of respect and did not have too! She mentioned how shocked she was at my response. I responded saying, you are completely entitled to you thoughts. Yet on a professional level and dealing with my funds that already were applied back in Dec 17... that is not accommodating. More importantly, her tone is what was alarming. She quickly, said... I will refund your money and then disconnected. Needless to say, I was very blown back. I even phoned back and got voicemail but was seeking the turn around date of my refund. Soon after, that info was provided via email. Yes, that refund was rec'd within that time amount stated. However, I hate that a business relationship ended so sour due to being a person of principal. Nonetheless, I hope that very best for this business. I am going to HOPE the owner was just having a bad day!
One would think, after a couple published books in... I'm use to this feeling. WRONG! In my personal and professional life, I appreciate order. That said, I knew weeks ago the day I planned to submit my manuscript for print. Yet, I still get nervous. Clearly, I know most things done allows a redo. But sometimes at a monetary value. Not to mention, timing is everything.
So, let me paint the picture for you. Prior to submitting Wednesday Just Got Better, the day Leland dialed 9-1-1 I proofread via print (and in color) and over the laptop more times that I could count. Like any other author, I felt the desire to change the content here and there. One day, my husband was like "Rayn, the more you read it... the more you will want to revise." I think that is human nature. Yet, I would still print, view, revise and REPEAT. Then finally submission came. I followed my "Before You Submit" notes, did a little meditation, hit submit and then walked the dog. That is the short painting. The true canvas was very detailed.
Being a self-published author comes with upfront cost, long nights and research. Meaning, this method of publishing you not only serve as the author or the visionary. You are the creator for marketing and develop. In my opinion, the success of your book is depending upon the bounds you've set. Will I ever opt to publish traditionally? Good question, I am not certain. The method I have followed thus far works, it's just very hands on. Then I ask myself, Would You Want It Any Other Way?
Please note: It's ideal and suggested to hire an editor for your work if you are publishing traditional or non-traditional.
After you submit, treat yourself to a No.1 Author On Board car sign... speak greatness over your work. Happy Submitting!
During CIAA, I attended a Meet the Authors brunch. The joys of rubbing shoulders with fellow bloggers, aspiring authors, and published authors. This was such an inspirational crowd. Each of us represented a unique stage in this world of writing. Hence, one wrote their story but has yet to turn it into a book. Another was inspired by the efforts of the matriarch in their family now just seeking the perfect editor. Then there is the author turned youtuber which I have already subscribed to her show! Of course, the author that has graced many college campuses with the passion to educate females on knowing their worth. The author that just wants to give back! And have you met a person that has written and published their book in 30 DAYS?! So, this is to just name a few of the talents from Saturday.
Being surrounded by like-minded individuals on this journey was amazing. The joy of bouncing experiences and ideas around the table had no choice but to get our creative juices flowing. Not to mention, the menu and cocktails at the venue, Brio Coastal Bar & Kitchen were delightful.
I must say, this is surely a different season for me. In the past, my CIAA functions never consisted of networking events. It was more of a day party here, step-show there and the greek party on Thursday night was a MUST. Not to mention, I'd start the first day of the tournament waking up at 5 AM to attend the live Steve Harvey Morning Show. I'm sharing that to say, my focus is changing... I can see it. I feel it. I've always been geared towards networking. Yet, turning my hobby into a business or better yet just becoming more passionate about this journey has me ready for this shift.
(*) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is a collegiate athletic conference, mostly consisting of historically black colleges and universities. CIAA institutions are affiliated at the Division II level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
This fiction was very inconsistent. Nevertheless, I read it to the end. I guess I was seeking a ending that tied the chapters together. I even found myself going back over the chapters thinking... perhaps I missed something.
The beginning of the novel... I had a visual or an understanding of the main character Mahogany, her grandmother and mother. THEN right before Mahogany's aunt and her family were introduced... the story line became cloudy. For instance, every death in the book happened without leading the reader to that moment. One chapter, the character is alive and breathing. However, the following chapter... Mahogany loses yet another family member. Also, to add to the confusion... it's a part in the book that suggest that Mahogany knew Aunty Ann before her mom died. Prior to that piece, the story described them meeting for the first at the grandmother's service.
My goal is not at all to "roast" the author but to provide a feedback. The story line is there but needs a re-edit. Hoping the writer (whom I tried to find on IG) takes this back to the drawing board, I would LOVE to read the revised version and of course submit a second review.
A few weeks back, I was out running errands and had to stop at one of my favorite grocery stores (Harris Teeter) to get the items for dinner. Prior to going there, I stopped at the Dollar Tree to get some tootsie rolls.
As I pulled up at the Teeter, I spotted a female all bundled up (due to the cold) with bags and some luggage beside her. I immediately thought to myself, when I get in the store I'll grab her some food and something to drink. Unfortunately, once parked and shopping was done, I loaded my things in the car. Yet did not think anymore about this young lady until I started my car to leave the parking lot.
At the time, I parked my vehicle closer to her, got out with the tootsie roll bag in my pocket and asked her would she like to go to a shelter. She barely looked up at me. I could tell that she was cold, approachable, about my age and was busy into her reading. Her instant response to me was "no, I don't want to go to no shelter." For the life of me, I could not understand why this lady would rather be in this cold and outside with all her belongings than a SHELTER?! However, I quickly reminded myself not to judge.. not to judge her decision. Therefore, we talked and I asked her if she'd like a tootsie roll. Her response, tootsie roll... that's all you got?! She was not rude, she was actually laughing. She said, out of all the things, a tootsie roll, that is such a old school candy. Then she and I both began to laugh. Soon after, she shared... her need is financial... which I am sure many of us could attest to that! She also shared that her faith will not allow her the desire to go to a shelter. She continues, going to a shelter would be giving up faith on God. In return, I just listened. In closing of our conversation, she says thank you for giving her that laugh and that she needed that! Speaking on how I reminded her of her grandmother years ago with her "church candy."
Needless to say, she was not interested in the candy or going to a shelter for that matter. Yet, the mouth WIDE open laugh and short chat meant the world to her.
Sharing this to say, laughter is healing. And it's important to show kindness without judgment. In the world we live in, poverty is something that is swept under the rug way too much. Although I could not change her mind on going to a shelter. I walked away knowing I tried.
What was your most recent act of kindness?
~ give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act.
Being a person that has supported friends, family, and/or colleagues for years... I can honestly say support is not always reciprocated. I wholehearted feel that we should root for one another. I find on social media, hashtags such as;
Women Support Women
Support Your Peeps
but are you truly providing that support that you "hashtag" about or better yet... that you seek?
Here are a few ways to support thy neighbors endeavors on a monetary level, followed by a non-monetary avenues.
~ Purchase their product or service(s) and gift it to a friend
~ Acquire their gem (product or service) for yourself
~ Ask them, where can you assist with a donation of goods or services to help them to get to the next level.
~ Tell a Friend (word of mouth is POWERFUL)
~ (Follow,) Like, Share their social media post on your social media outlets
~ Provide constructive feedback (this makes them BETTER)
Basically, be ENGAGED.
I may not know the title of every song or the beat of every tune
My music collection is more in my head than at hands reach
I can relate many of my life encounters to a song that was wrote for you to... just get your "Prettygirl Rock" on, to "Beat it" when I'm done, or if I'm having "One of those Days" as I had the other day, "Cater to you" when I'm doing for my man
Its a "Beautiful Day" when I am blessed with another day to live love laugh (and learn)
And of course, "Its a Family Affair" when I see the fam
When I'm feeling myself "Just Fine" is on REPEAT
When I need a shoulder to cry on and someone from my support system say.. "That's What Friends Are For" is so appreciated
However, my latest song in rotation is "Her Heart" when I think of a man expressing how his hearts been woke up
But when I'm down.. real down can I get a "Window Seat"? Although I've seen better days.
A known quote, beside every strong man is a strong woman "Ambitious Girl" was introduced to me by my future hubby. Although I can't hold a note but if I could I would sang (and yes I said sang) "If This World Were Mine" to Rashad on a DAILY
For those who didn't know.. "I'm a Boss" (R Elegance Event Planning has been in motion since 2007)
Childhood tidbit, "Greatest Love Of All" was my jam
I can go on and on with my music favorites but basically music is you, your beat and tune is your ballot so "Live your Life" the way you want it to be played
Before I share my thoughts on the question. Let's just take a moment to enjoy this bowl of deliciousness which was prepared by yours truly.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high. Add the turkey and onion. Cook and stir, breaking up the turkey as you go, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bottom of a large crockpot.
To the slow cooker, add the quinoa, enchilada sauce, black beans, tomatoes, corn, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine, then cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours, until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
Remove the lid and stir. Taste and adjust any seasonings as desired. Stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Cover and cook on high until the cheese melts, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot with any desired toppings.
Recently, there has been a shift in the Newson household. This shift has granted the opportunity for me prepare more home cooked meals throughout the week. That said, comment with a recipe or two if you'd like to help a working wife out! Before you side eye, know that prior to this my husband and I would not go hungry or depended on fast food nightly. Difference is, by the time I get home after running evening errands, walking the dog and finally taking a moment to relax... my desire to cook had lessened.
Currently, my thought (baby steps) is to plan our meal out at least a day before. In our household, we prefer fresh produce if all possible. Therefore, our visit to the grocery store (or farmer's market) comes a bit often.
Let's address my attempt on being a pescetarian in a divided home. If you follow me on IG (@author_rnewson), you may remember a couple post on this being my second attempt. Quick update, I started off really well. Then we went on vacation and all efforts went out the window of this FINE korean cuisine restaurant. Literally, I have not been able to get back on track. However, I have changed my meat to veggie ratio a bit. I tend to plate more veggies then meats. Also, it's not vital to have meat with every meal for me.
As for my husband, he is very supportive in my eagerness to change my eating style. He even concoct meals that's pleasing to a pescetarian. Ask him about those salmon steaks... yummy! And I DO kiss the cook! Nevertheless, changing the way you eat is pricey!! Of course, one could say, just prepare a meal how you normally would, just leave the meat out of yours. Or ask him to adjust with you!
The truth of the matter is, my best solution is to enjoy what WE cook. Depending on how I am feeling, I'll ration accordingly. Eating healthier does not require one to be vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian and/or etc etc. In my opinion, having a balance and being a more conscious eater is this bigger picture.
So on that note, what's for dinner?!
1) I "hum a tune" it doesn't even have to be a tune at times.
2) I like to wear fishnet (or embossed) tights and colorful socks.
3) Once I get off the elevator, sometimes I'll press the button for the elevator to head back to the main floor. Hoping to lessen the next persons wait.
4) When I eat temperature or seasoned hot foods, my nose run.
5) For 9 years, I had my tongue pierced.
6) When I was about 8 or 9 years young, I attempted to get in Oprah's limo. So close!
7) Silver over gold
8) My favorite dish is lasagna. Yet I have never prepared it myself.
9) When we met, I pursued my husband. He was playing hard to get. Got em!!
10) A free spirit yet I must have a calendar.
11) I'm a self-proclaimed advocate for Me-Time.
12) Some shows, I watch only with the Mista... it's our thing!
Walking Dead, Black Ink, Blackish, and this is just to share a few
13) Has been faced with adversities.
14) My middle name is Az-Shel, after Shell gas station.
15) I threw myself a 25th, 30th, and 35th birthday celebration. All were well attended.
Dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s, High Tea and Vision Board Party
16) When I first met my in-luvs, I was nervous. Like sweating nervous. I had on a pink and green shirt, jean skirt and decided to take my tongue ring out for that day.
17) Starting my loc journey, this month was a birthday gift to myself.
18) My first car tag read: WANTZLOTS or was it WANTZLOTS
19) I worked in a factory for 1.5 days.
20) I could never understand the purpose of side-eye.
21) I'm looking to enroll in a writing course or two.
22) Applied to become a dental hygienists, was accepted yet decided not to pursue it. I have a weak stomach.
23) Once I retire, the plan to dye my hair totally purple.
24) Determined to never be someone's afterthought.
25) I'm that person that goes to the airport 90 minutes before boarding.
That's because I literally witnessed my plane in reverse in Vegas and I was RIGHT at the door. Waited 8 hrs for another flight, that was not even a straight flight either.
26) I love me some GroupOn deals!!
27) And the close-out or clearance aisles... WEAK!!
28) I believe in paying yourself.
29) I can (and have) learned from others mistakes as well as my own.
30) I prefer mailing a letter at the post office than the mailbox on the corner.
31) I believe in vacationing.
32) Would literally follow my husband to the moon. I didn't say that I would be quite while in transport... but I will be present.
33) Have the manuscript completed for my children's book. And finalizing pieces for my marketing book. However, you don't have to wait til then to support.
34) I have a sister-in-luv, college bestie, business bestie, bestie bestie, work bestie, three sisters and countless amount of sorority sisters but yet totally fine when it's JUST ME.
35) I will not eat the same meal after the 3rd day and that's pushing it.
36) Yoga is in my near future.
** Bonus, last year for my birthday... the husband and I stayed home, painted a couple rooms in our house. We ate carryout and just enjoyed each others company.
37) My opinion, your birthday is the most liberating holiday of the year. It's the celebration of YOU!!! Selfish? No, just real. Think about it, your children's birthday, your marriage anniversary, the holidays, friends celebrations, and such you're a good steward. It's, your turn. Now excuse me while I go reclaim my time.
This is a really quick read. However, the amount of information was right on target. Of course, all may not suffer from this disease of not being able to implement their NO muscles.
The author share tips on bettering the process on giving a NO response and more importantly not placing someone else's needs above your own. I have been a self-proclaimed victim of this for years. Not really for reasoning based on what is expressed in this read. More along the lines of IF ASKED... I respond no, how will the requesting party get the job done (or manage) with my help?
Luckily, with grace and respect... applying the EDC model, the readers major take away will guide when attempting to set boundaries.
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