Thursday, May 31, 2012

No-Buy Month

Today was the last day of my "no-buy month." And man, it's been hard.
I can now get my grass cut.
I can go buy some sunglasses. Can you imagine me being out in the sun and heat without shades?
I've already made a hair appointment (yes !).
I plan to get my car washed sometime this weekend. It's a hot mess.

I feel... free!

I think the hardest thing about "no-buy month" was not socializing with my friends. I couldn't go to Happy Hours or the movies (I missed the Avengers). I'm glad I was able to use some vouchers that I had bought a long time ago — one for brunch and one for dinner - and I thank my friends who agreed to pay the taxes and tip on the vouchers. I'm also happy for close friends who "treated" me to dinner because they knew I was doing "no-buy month."

I got the idea to do a "no-buy month" from Natalie McNeal, founder of The Frugalista Files. Natalie came up with the idea in 2008. The purpose was to, for a month, only spend money on the necessities: groceries, gas, your bills. So she went a month without getting her hair and nails done or eating out and was able to save about $400. She eventually got out of debt and detailed her journey in the book, The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out of Debt Without Giving Up the Fabulous Life.  Here are some of her  rules for "no-buy month." McNeal now does a "no-buy month" every February.

Note to Lottie: Never do a "no-buy month" in the spring and summer months, when it's nice outside and lots of fun things to do.

But I decided to do it in May because I had gone home in April for Easter and also to celebrate my niece's first birthday. I went a little overboard with my sister, so a "no-buy month" was my way of reeling myself in.

I never realized until now how much I spend on little things. I'm not the type of person who goes on a lot of trips, has a lot of designer clothes, shoes or bags, or even eats out a lot. But I realized that during the week, I do a lot of impulse buying - maybe picking up an iced tea from McDonald's on the way home or some dark-chocolate raisinets. I always thought of myself as frugal - until I couldn't spend money.

I did slip up a few times. For example, though I used my store credit at TJMAXX to buy Mother's Day gifts for my sister and step-mother, I had to spend money to actually send the gifts to Mississippi. Also, I was required to fax an important document for a project I'm working on. I no longer work in an office and I don't have a fax at home, so I had to go to FEDEX/Kinkos to fax.

Overall, it was a very eye-opening experience. I'll do it again, but this time maybe in January - or March :)

So, what's your thoughts on "no-buy month"?
Would you do it? Why or Why not?
What would be the hardest thing for you to give up? (coffee? hair appointments? going out to eat?)

Holla at me...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Love Dance

I was in one of my moods this morning and was going to write a post about how it sucks being single. It's been a long time since I've been on a date and I was going to do a little whining — blah, blah, blah.
(Anyway, who are these people who think life is better without companionship?)

Then I turned on the television and got even more depressed. The Today Show was doing a segment on "Skinny Speeddating" — speeddating for men who are only interested in women who are thin. What about speeddating for men who are interested in women who are bottom-heavy? You know, men who like the song, "Baby Got Back."

sigh... I just can't win can I?

Anyway, I was getting a little pissed off, but then the Today Show featured a recently engaged couple in which the man orchestrated an elaborate choreographed proposal to his girlfriend. He got 60 of their friends to participate and dance to Bruno Mars' Marry Me. I loved it !

The video made me smile. I'm such a hopeless romantic and already thinking of unique ways my fiance can propose to me (just kidding).

Now yall know I love to dance. In fact, I want to have a choreographed first dance at my wedding reception to Beyonce's Love on Top. My friends already know they're gonna have to learn a dance routine. It's gonna be fun! But until that happens, please check out Isaac's proposal to Amy below. Let me know what you think:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

At The Crossroads

Do you feel powerless sometimes, like you have no control over certain situations - whether personal or professional - like, there's nothing you can do to change the situation?

Do you ask: Okay, what do I do now? Are you at a loss of what you should do, can do?

Do you feel that no one really understands your circumstances or what you're going through?

Hmm, is it hard to admit the fear or trepidation that accompanies your indecision or inaction?

What is your next move? How do you get to that space of happiness?

Or do you settle for what happened as what is and resign yourself to the fact that this is how it's gonna be?

At a crossroads, you can choose to go that way or that way - do I do this or do I do that? (you can get with this or you can get with that) You can also choose to stay here (x marks the spot) and do nothing. 

It's so easy to stay where you are  -  in this space, at this place (or is it?) Just don't get run over by the train...

holla at me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I heard this term on the Steve Harvey Morning Show this morning during the "Strawberry Letter." I was like - what? huh?

Have you heard of this term before?

I guess it means your boyfriend hasn't formally proposed yet, but you've talked about marriage — so you're "pre-engaged."


Monday, May 14, 2012

The Time Cover

Just a few days before Mother's Day, Time magazine featured a woman breast-feeding her 3 (nearly 4)-year-old son on its cover. The photo was quite controversial. The actual article, however, was on attachment parenting, which, according to an article on, includes techniques such as extended nursing, using cloth diapers and co-sleeping. Some believe attachment parenting helps create a close and positive bond between mother and child.

But my question is not about attachment parenting. I want to know how you feel about the cover. Also, what is your opinion of extended nursing? 

A Washington Post story noted that about 44 percent of mothers breast-feed for about six months and only about 15 percent follow the advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics which recommends breast-feeding for a year. The group touted the benefits of breast-feeding for babies. Breast-fed babies, it pointed out, have a stronger immune system, are less likely to develop asthma or become overweight later in childhood.

What are your thoughts on breast-feeding a child over the age of 1? According to a piece on NY, the mother on Time's cover said she was breast-fed until she was 6-years-old and said it's the reason she has such a close bond with her mother.

So, what are your thoughts on the cover? Do you think it received such a strong reaction because the child was a young boy — as opposed to a young girl?
How do you feel about extended nursing?

Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Love Connection

So, I met a guy yesterday while walking down the street. His name is Cleophus.
But he hasn't called me yet.